The bodies of Anthony Nagore and Lucas Brewer were fished out of the Farmington River on Monday after a four-day search for the missing teens. Nagore, 17, and Brewer, 15, had gone for a swim on July 15, according to police, but were reported missing by their families when they didn’t return home at an appropriate hour.
The teens reportedly went swimming on the Avon side of the Farmington River, which has been considerably swollen due to heavy rainfall in the area. It was thought that Anthony Nagore and Lucas Brewer drowned, and the speculation was confirmed on July 19 after the bodies of the teens were found dead in the river.
According to reports, a search and rescue team, which had been engaged in the operation for nearly four days, spotted the teens’ bodies on Monday afternoon while investigating the riverbank. The current was too strong for divers to jump into the water directly, so teams conducted the operation on land. After Anthony Nagore and Lucas Brewer were spotted, the bodies were pulled from the dangerous waters.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s police force said in a statement that the cause of death is still unknown. The Chief Medical Examiner will analyze the bodies and determine how the teens died.
The statement also urged families and individuals to stay away from the waterways, explaining that the river has become a lot more dangerous lately due in large part to the heavy rainfall in the area. It was reported that the side of the Farmington River where the teens were found had water levels six or seven times higher than usual.
Captain Keith Williams from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protections explained that “it is very dangerous to be out there. We are asking everybody that recreates not just on this river but any body of water in the state of Connecticut that’s swollen right now because of the rain, please stay off the water, we don’t want another incident like this to happen.”
Williams admitted that “this is a very unfortunate situation. The river level is very dangerous, it’s going to continue to rise throughout the next couple of days, so conditions are going to get even worse. Just give it some time please, is what we’re asking. Just stay out of the water right now, it’s not worth the risk.”
The tragic death of both Anthony Nagore and Lucas Brewer has greatly affected their Connecticut community. According to reports, Brewer was a Connecticut native who lived in the area. Nagore was visiting relatives for the summer when he passed. Jessika Harkay, a breaking news reporter for the Hartford Courant, posted on Twitter after visiting a memorial for the two teens.
According to Harkay, hundreds of people “gathered near the Farmington River after news broke that the bodies of [Anthony Nagore and Lucas Brewer], who disappeared in the water Thursday, were recovered.” Harkay also posted pictures of those who gathered at the memorial site, claiming that many teenagers attended the service and families were embracing each other in a “heartbreaking” scene.
Harkay also posted a video of the memorial, showing rocks decorated with candles in honor of Nagore and Brewer. Pictures, flowers, and balloons lined the rocks adjacent to the rushing Farmington River.
“In summer you’re supposed to enjoy yourself and I’m just thinking they were enjoying themselves as good friends and trying to have fun,” one of the mourners, Lucy Lopez, said, whose daughter attends Plainville High. Lopez said that many teens play in the Farmington River and that it’s a common summertime hobby for youths.
“So for a kid to say ‘Mom, I’m going to go to do this,’ it’s like ‘OK. You’ve done it a million times,’” another mother, Michelle Ibitz, added. “And unfortunately with the way the weather was and with the water flowing, it was that one unfortunate event.”
Lucas Brewer’s brother made a statement after his brother was discovered, which was read by a spokesman for the Brewer family. “Grief never ends, but it changes,” the message read. “It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness and not a lack of faith but it is a great price of love.”