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LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — The body of a 30-year-old drowning victim is recovered Monday morning, 36 hours after a fun weekend outing turned tragic.

Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant says Bernado Lopez’s body was recovered in a rescue net just before 7 Monday morning. His body had been carried about three-quarters of a mile from Lawrence Bridge along the Buttahatchee River north of Caledonia.

Lopez, an undocumented alien working for a Hollis Roofing, was playing soccer with friends along the banks of the river Saturday afternoon when the soccer ball ended up in the water. He went in to retrieve it but was carried under by the swift currents.

Friends tried unsuccessfully to rescue him and called 911.

Columbus Fire and Rescue searched Saturday evening and again Sunday. A new rescue net donated by the Veterans of Foreign Wars was deployed Sunday and led to this morning’s recovery.

The rescue unit received word Friday that the VFW’s donation was ready but was going to wait until Monday to pick it up. But when Saturday’s accident occurred, the unit contacted the net maker and got it Sunday for use in the rescue.





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