BURLINGTON, CT (WFSB) - A tragic ending to the days-long search for two teens who went missing after swimming in the Farmington River.
Officials found the bodies of 15-year-old Lucas Brewer and 17-year-old Anthony Nagore Monday afternoon near the banks of the river.
It was heartbreaking for everyone involved. Family and friends flocked to the site to mourn.
Officials are also very shaken up. They say after four long days, there will be no more sleepless nights for them and for the families involved.
"Everybody’s hurt. We wanted it to be a different outcome, but we’re glad they can be at peace," Stephanie Dube tells us.
This was not the ending anyone in the Farmington River Valley wanted for two teens who went missing after swimming in the rushing river four days ago.
"We were able to recover those two individuals this afternoon. They were positively identified as the two individuals that we’ve been looking for since Thursday," Keith Williams of DEEP said.
Around 3:15 Monday afternoon, the bodies of Brewer, from Plainville, and Negore, who is from out of state, were recovered, their bodies found snagged on a tree a mile and a half from the spot they were last seen.
"They were probably 30, 40 yards apart from each other, but in the same general area," continued Williams.
Nagore and Brewer were last seen on Thursday afternoon.
The two were reported missing around 5 p.m. that day when they didn’t return home.
Recent storms made the Farmington River dangerously fast.
Officials say the water was moving out of the Colebrook Dam section of the river at 1,600 cubic feet per second on the day the two went missing.
"The water level is probably six or seven times higher than it normally would be this time of year. It is very dangerous to be out there," explained Williams.
There’s been so much rain, water from the Colebrook Dam had to be released, actually helping the search.
"We couldn’t say it was the factor, but probably a contributing factor," stated Williams.
On Friday, they reported that the Farmington River was flowing at 1,800 cubic feet per second. Due to the weekend weather, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection told Channel 3 the flow increased to 3,200.
To put it in perspective, the river is usually flowing at 200 cubic feet per second.
By Monday, the state Environmental Conservation Police issued a warning to people who wanted to use the river:
Due to the large amounts of rain that we have been experiencing as of late, the Army Corps of Engineers Intend to release a large amount of water into the Farmington River [Monday] morning in an effort to reduce the strain on the dams and larger bodies of water to the North. Anyone planning to recreate on the river this morning should use extreme caution as we expect the levels to rise very quickly. With that being said, anyone visiting any rivers as of late should exercise caution as these rivers can be deceiving and appear to be calm while in reality having very strong undercurrents. Thank you, Stay Safe.
DEEP also released a statement about the dangerous water levels.
DEEP met [Monday] with the Army Corps of Engineers, who will be releasing water from the Colebrook Reservoir. Water levels in the reservoir are dangerously high, and to prevent an overflow of the dam, water must be released into the Farmington River. Depending on water conditions, the release may allow for the dam to be drawn down on Friday, reducing the water into the river and lowering water levels enough to facilitate a search in the water on Saturday. EnCon will re-evaluate water levels on Friday to determine the feasibility of another recovery operation on Saturday. DEEP EnCon expects to continue land-based searches until then, with EnCon officers patrolling the shorelines.
The Army Corps of Engineers also had to release water from the dam a few days ago.
Word of the discoveries traveled fast.
More than a hundred family and friends came to the Burlington side of the river and walked the path down to the water to pay their respects.
Families asked Eyewitness News to give them space, which we did so friends who did attend set the scene for us.
"You can tell everybody’s hurt. There’s a lot of people showing their love for these boys," Dube says.
Stephanie Dube and Brooke Lowe knew 15-year-old Lucas.
"He would do stuff for everybody else and he would think of everybody before himself, and he’d have this very positive energy toward everyone," noted Lowe.
"Lucas was a sweetheart. He lit the room up when he walked in. You couldn’t have a bad day. He knew how to bring a smile to everyone’s face," added Dube.
Counseling and support services were available at Plainville High School on Monday for students, families and staff members. Professional counselors and K9 first responders were were scheduled to be there from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
"For anyone who needed support or someone to talk to, a familiar face, we have the counselors from all the schools come in and additional help," explained LePage.
LePage says setting this up was necessary, because in Plainville, they're family.
"The wonderful thing about Plainville is that, through all the challenges we face, year in and year out, this is really a strong community that really comes together as a family. That's the motto of our school staff, you know, five schools, one family," LePage added.
Superintendent LePage said they also partnered with Cornerstone Counseling to provide over-the-phone services for those who didn't feel comfortable coming in-person.
FARMINGTON, CT (WFSB) - The search for two Plainville teens last seen swimming in the Farmin…
Officials said Nagore was staying with relatives for the Summer, while also working long hours at a local pool company.
We're told his mother lives in Arizona and his father resides in Kansas.
Officials said the search for two missing teens who were last seen swimming in the Farmington River was suspended Friday afternoon.
Officials added that Nagore wanted to take a couple of days off and hang out with his friends before going back home.
The official cause of death will not be released tonight, but officials are warning all of us that the river levels are still very dangerous here and pretty much everywhere else in the state, and they’re only expected to rise, so the bottom line is to stay out.