Search crews find body of missing teen in Cumberland River

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CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) –  A body has been pulled from the Cumberland River by recovery crews who say they have found the 18-year old boy who disappeared Monday afternoon. 

Deputies say 18-year-old Marvin Gutierrez Morales jumped from a dock near the Cheatham Dam access point and never resurfaced. 

Multiple agencies have been involved in the search. Crews have been using multiple resources to try to find Morales, including boats, cadaver dogs, sonar, and divers. 

MORE: Crews work multiple Memorial Day water rescues in Cheatham County

“It definitely would’ve been a lot better scenario if this was a rescue effort instead of a recovery,” said Cheatham County EMS Director Dan Schaeffer. 

Schaeffer said it’s hard to say what happened to the teen once he jumped off. 

“That’s always a possibility when you dive off of banks, or the boat dock  that you’re going to hit something under there. And there’s a lot of debris that comes down the river. So he very easily could’ve gotten himself tangled up in debris and was unable to resurface.” 

Schaeffer said there have been challenges in their search efforts, 

“Obviously the current on the river, dark water, the temperature of the water, you know when somebody drowns …depending on their size…water temperature …those type of things. It makes it awfully difficult to locate somebody in a real quick manner.”

A specialized TWRA camera from Chattanooga is expected to help with the murky, cold water. 

“It’s like having an underwater robot that can give you 3D pictures, live feed, so it really allows you to see what you’re working with.” 

Schaeffer says the dock is not a “problem area” per se. He says most of those happen closer to the Dam and that there are risks when you swim away from roped off areas. He also recommends wearing a life jacket. 

His heartbroken family wants people to know this tragedy is an example of the risks that come with swimming in the river.

Recovery crews from Cheatham County EM, Ashland City Fire, the US Army Corps of Engineers have been out on the water at the Cheatham Dam Road Swim Beach near Ashland City.  A dive team from Clarksville was also called in to help. 

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