Body of Teenager Recovered from Cypress Creek
Posted May 26, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
TARBORO — A 14-year-old boy is dead after a carefree afternoon turned into terror. Friends of the Edgecombe County teen say he was doing what he loved to do every summer: playing in a creek near his house.
For five hours, friends and family members waited together in an Edgecombe County neighborhood, hoping that 14-year-old Quincy Atkinson had somehow survived. But as rescue crews carried a stretcher into the woods, onlookers realized their hopes were in vain.
"He was an all-around guy," said family member Vicky Bellamy. "He was real nice and, you know, he was real respectful to adults."
Atkinson disappeared in Cypress Creek just after 1:00 p.m. Tuesday. Deputies say he had been wading back and forth across the small waterway with a 12-year-old friend when he slipped and started to sink.
Family members of the only witness told WRAL that Atkinson struggled so much the other boy couldn't pull him back to shore. He eventually disappeared into the murky water.
"He was approximately... six or seven feet in the water at the bottom there," Sheriff James Knight pointed out.
An unidentified neighbor described Atkinson as just a normal kid who was easy to get along with.
Atkinson celebrated his 14th birthday last Saturday. Wednesday would have been his last day of school. But instead of celebrating his accomplishments, his family and friends will be forced to mourn his loss.
The teenager would have completed the eighth grade at South Edgecombe Middle School. Friends say he was looking forward to his freshman year at Southwest High.