A family is looking for answers after their 18-year old son drown Thursday in a deep Dayton pond.
The body of Chance Mills of Dayton was recovered Friday from a pond in Lakeside Park along U.S. 35 and near the Dayton VA after rescuers resumed their search from the night before.
“It’s real sad because he’s just a lovable kid, still a kid, if you met him, he’s so respectful, yes, sir, no sir, all that,” said family friend, William McIntyre.
Police and Dayton fire/rescue were dispatched to the pond at Lakeside Drive and Lakeview Avenue about 7:33 p.m. Thursday when young witnesses said Mills jumped into the deep pond and struggled to stay above water. The search was stopped around 11 p.m. because of darkness.
Mills father and family were overcome with emotion when rescurers found him just before noon on Friday.
Montgomery County Educational Service Center Superintendent Frank DePalma said that Mills had been a student at the ESC’s Learning Center West on Kettering Boulevard since 2014.
That school works with special education students who struggle to succeed at their home school. DePalma said Mills’ home district had originally been Kettering schools until a recent move to Dayton.
DePalma said the principal of the Learning Center West, TammiJo Slieff, had described Mills as a student who was well-liked by the school’s faculty, staff and students.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time,” he said.
Divers from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base went into the water where witnesses had reported the teen had entered. They were directed by spotters from the Dayton fire department and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
They found Mills about 25 feet below the surface, according to Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Lykins
“Comments on the call said there was someone in the water, they looked like they were having a hard time swimming,” Dayton police Sgt. Thomas Schloss said.
McIntyre said they trying to figure out why Mills was at the lake.
Officials advised caution when swimming in bodies of water like this because of the temperature of the water, which can be dangerous, and the depths of the water.
“Most of our bodies of water are not meant for swimming, they’re mean for fishing and just enjoying being around the water,” Lykins said. “It is marked and this is just a tragic accident.”
There are signs posted at the pond that advise no swimming.
News Center 7’s Mike Campbell contributed to this article.
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