Boy, 12, drowns in San Jacinto River

August 17, 2010 9:52:57 PM PDT
The Harris County Sheriff's Office is looking into the drowning of a 12-year-old boy. It happened late Tuesday afternoon at Banana Bend along the San Jacinto River. Deputies say the family told them the boy knew how to swim, but they believe he ventured into water that was over his head.

Sheriff's deputies say 12-year-old Jose Garcia was swimming with his family at Banana Bend. Around 4:30pm, he was in the water with his 12-year-old friend when Garcia ran into trouble and his friend tried to help.

"Kids are going to be kids. They want to go out and have a good time and play in the water, and that's what they were doing," Harris County Sheriff's Office Capt. Denise O'Leary said. "I think they got to an area over their head and didn't have the strength to get back."

While relatives say both knew how to swim, it was a bystander who saw them struggling.

"A citizen in the water helped save one of the boys," O'Leary said.

But it was too late for Garcia.

Deputies say family was tending to another child when they saw the commotion.

The victim's young cousin, Jennifer Medina, says the Robinson Elementary Student loved football and was a good playmate.

"It was a good boy, and we played a lot," Medina said.

Officials with the Harris County Sheriff's Office marine division says they recovered the boy's body in about 7 feet of water.

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