Local News

Body found in Cape Fear River amid search for missing swimmer

Posted July 17, 2015 5:06 p.m. EDT
Updated July 19, 2015 7:38 a.m. EDT

— Authorities received a call Saturday night from a boater on the Cape Fear River reporting a body floating in the water.

Fayetteville police and rescue crews have been searching for 21-year-old DreQuan O'Dell since he went missing Friday afternoon.

O'Dell and two of his friends entered the river on Broad Street in Fayetteville, but only two exited the water. O'Dell never made it back to shore, according to officials.

Fayetteville Assistant Fire Chief Richard Bradshaw said authorities rescued one swimmer who was clinging to a branch, and the other was able to swim to safety.

“It’s a solemn moment right now – a lot of prayer,” O'Dell's uncle, Charles Renkel, said. “We were hoping that they’d find DreQuan today, but they told us they’re shutting it down for the night.”

Prior to receiving the report of a body in the river, officials announced the search was put on hold Saturday due to thunderstorms and would resume Sunday at 8 a.m.

“The person we rescued lost attachment to the individual, and he went down,” Bradshaw said. “At this time, we are in search-and-recovery mode.

“If you consider the amount of rain we’ve had the past few weeks, it has the tendency to push a lot of things down stream."

Authorities said the discovered body fits the description of O'Dell, and it will be taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for proper identification.