Body of missing camper from Bladen Co. found

Body of missing camper from Bladen Co. found
Jesse Sgro (Source: Find Jesse Sgro Facebook page)

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - After a week of searching, the body of Jesse Sgro who went missing from his church camp group at Singletary Lake State Park last weekend was found Saturday afternoon at about 12:30 p.m. according to Katie Hall with the NC Division of Parks and Recreation.

Sgro's body was found in the middle of Singletary lake, several hundred yards from both the pier and the shoreline. Hall said it is about 3/4 of a mile in towards the middle of the lake.

The body was found in about 12 to 14 feet of water.

Ed Wilkerson, superintendent of Singletary Lake State Park, addressed reporters in a press conference on Saturday.

He said the body was seen floating in the water, and it is believed to be an accidental drowning.

"At approximately 12:15, 12:30 today, the subject was viewed in the water, not located on sonar, located on surface," said Wilkerson. "That was the culmination of about a four hour effort this morning, until they located the body."

"The family has been notified," said Wilkerson.

"He was worshiping the Lord when he fell in that water. I don't think a father could ask for a better way their son to go home with the Lord," said Jesse's father, David. "But we're strong."

"It's a tragedy. And we're broken. And I'm going home now and falling apart, and just crying out to the lord," said David. "But we're going to stand strong as a family... This did nothing to our faith except make it better."

Even though Jesse's family said he was a good swimmer, Wilkerson said the environmental conditions could make survival difficult in the water.

"There was not a PFD in the canoe that he took from shore. And he was out on the lake after dark," said Wilkerson. "So if you have all of those combined with cold water. And if you find yourself in water, it can become life threatening very quickly."

"Out here at Singletary Lake, there's not a lot of light here at night," said Wilkerson.

Hall said he had removed some of his articles of clothing so it is believed that he was struggling to swim.

The coroner is now examining the body.

Wilkerson said there has not been a drowning at Singletary Lake in recent history, but stressed the importance of wearing a personal flotation device near the water at all times.

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