Officials recover body from Falls Lake

Search began Friday after a man was seen struggling in water.

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) — Officials have recovered the body of a man from Falls Lake Saturday morning.

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office Boat Team, along with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, recovered the body of 23-year-old Emmanuel Diaz Juarez of Raleigh around 9:30 a.m. Saturday.  According to the sheriff’s office, the family identified the body.

The search began when calls for help came in around 5 p.m. Friday near the Beaverdam access, where a man was seen struggling in the water.

It prompted the sheriff’s office to bring boats in and put divers in the water. Investigators closed three nearby parking lots. They searched the water and the surrounding area.

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At around 9 p.m. Friday night, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said deputies found a vehicle that may have belonged to the man in the water.

North Carolina State Park rangers say they believe Juarez drowned.

Advanced Park Ranger Scott Avis says witnesses say Juarez swam alone and outside of the designated swimming area and with no lifeguards on duty at the lake he wants to remind all swimmers of the risks of going outside of the safe zone.

“Physical fatigue,” said Avis. “People that aren’t prepared to go beyond the barrier, underwater hazards, and just not realizing a person’s limitations. People think they can swim far, but then they get into trouble.”

CBS North Carolina spoke with a woman who lives next door to where Juarez lived with his family. She says she just saw Juarez two days ago.

“I’m hurt cause it’s really sad,” said Neighbor, Kim Lennon-Brown. “I don’t know him personally. I do know the other family members that live there and they’re good people, hardworking people.”

The park does provide life jackets for swimmers and they recommend that everyone wears them. They also want to discourage people from swimming alone.

Juarez’ body will be taken to the medical examiner’s office. CCBI and the Wake County Sheriff’s Office will continue to investigate.

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