Local News

Two Roanoke Rapids teens drown while fishing

Posted July 20, 2011 6:18 a.m. EDT
Updated July 20, 2011 3:45 p.m. EDT

— Crews found the bodies of two high schoolers Wednesday morning who drowned while fishing at Roanoke Rapids Lake, according to the Halifax County Sheriff's Office.

Tashun Lagerus Tillery, 17, left with Trevlin Marquez Daniels, 18, to go fishing around 8 a.m. Tuesday, said Tillery's father, Willy. When Tashun Tillery didn't return home as usual, his father called 911 around midnight.

"He wouldn't have been here at this time of night, sir," Willy Tillery said. "He'd never be out later than 9 or 10 (p.m.) He'd be at home."

Another family member spotted the teens' car parked near the Thelma Road bridge over the lake. Willy Tillery drove out to the lake to look for his son.

In a 911 call from the lake, Willy Tillery is heard yelling out his son's name. He then tells the operator, "Ma'am, I need to get someone out here at the lake, please. I believe my son has drowned."

Deputies found a fishing pole, a bucket and the teens' car keys near the bridge, Sheriff Jeff Frazier said. Volunteer rescue and fire department dive teams started searching around 1 a.m. Wednesday and found the teens' bodies about five hours later.

Authorities believe that one of the teens slipped into the lake while standing alongside it, and his friend tried to pull him out but also fell in, Frazier said. Foul play is not suspected.

Relatives said that Daniels and Tashun Tillery often went fishing together but weren't good swimmers. They went to Northwest Halifax High School together.

"They're real close friends. Most of the time, they're together. You see one, you see the other," said Herbert West, Tashun Tillery's uncle.

Daniels' relatives said their family is having a difficult time with his death.

"It's real hard on the family, especially his mama because he was the baby out of three," his cousin, Lakisha Daniels, said.

Tashun Tillery left behind a newborn baby and a fiancee, relatives said.

"I saw them every day. They're going to be truly missed," West said.