VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — An 8-year-old who went missing Thursday night drowned at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, police say.
Virginia Beach police said in a news release they were informed that the child had gone missing in the area of 31st Street at 8 p.m. on July 4. The child had been last seen near the water’s edge.
Officers searched for the child throughout the night. A citizen found a body at around 2 a.m. along the beach at 39th Street, police said.
The person was identified as the missing 8-year-old. Despite rescue efforts from police and citizens, the child was pronounced dead, police said.
Police said no information about the child will be released out of respect for the family.
WAVY-TV spoke with beachgoers near the area where the child was found.
11-year-old Tyler Ha and his family, who are in town from Richmond, were also at the beach Thursday night. Ha’s mother heard an announcement made at the beach for the missing child and saw officers canvassing the area. Ha says he was sad to hear that a kid around his age died.
“It feels scary a little, but I’m still going to go in the water, but not that dark and late,” he said.
Others in the area were shocked to hear about the shooting.
“We didn’t expect that. I mean it does happen. We’ve heard about the recent deaths and drownings from rip tides and everything but we never expected it to be here,” said Bridget Barrett, who is visiting from North Carolina.
Casey Geho, who is in town from Ohio, was also surprised to hear about the drowning.
“It’s crazy to think something could happen that tragic in an instant,” she said.
Geho offered her condolences to the family saying “I’m really sorry to the family that lost their son.”