A Florida teen drowned in the Mississippi River after he and his friends joked about jumping in to beat the heat.
Family members said that the body authorities pulled from the Mississippi River on Sunday belongs to Pace Ervin Taylor, 19, of Tallahassee, Florida.
Pace was in Memphis, Tennessee, attending a Widespread Panic concert at the Mud Island Amphitheater with friends when he fell into the fast-moving river on June 29.
The Memphis Police Department’s mid-south missing persons alert, issued the next day, stated that Pace was seen jumping over the amphitheater’s concrete barrier wall and onto the Mississippi River’s banks. He then slipped into the river and was carried away from Mud Island.
On Sunday, Memphis police tweeted that a body, which was not identified, was pulled out of the Mississippi River near Tom Lee Park. The park is about a mile away from where Pace was seen falling into the river.
Pace’s mother, Jennifer, told WMC Action News 5 that the body belonged to her son.
Jennifer said that Pace’s friends, who had been at the concert with him, told her that they were leaving the venue when Pace climbed over the barrier. He ‘was basically goofing around, playing’ when he fell into the water.
His friends said they tried to help him, but weren’t able to rescue him.
‘For a moment he hung on to a branch and they saw that but then they saw the water really push him under. And then he was just gone,’ Jennifer told the news station.
The Tallahassee Democrat reported that Pace, a rising sophomore at Georgia’s Valdosta State University, had driven to Memphis with his friend from school to watch the show, as Widespread Panic was one of his favorite bands. The pair then met up with Pace’s hometown friends who attend college in Mississippi.
After the outdoor concert, as Pace and his friends were walking near the barrier wall, they reportedly joked about cooling off in the river before he fell in.
Authorities said the current in that part of the Mississippi River is particularly strong.
A service will be held for Pace on Friday in Tallahassee.
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