Six-Year-Old Boy Drowns at Smith Mountain Lake

Reporter: Parker Slaybaugh

Goodview, VA - A search for a missing six-year-old boy in the 1100 Block of Roanoke Drive in Bedford County, is over. Officials say they pulled his body from Smith Mountain Lake Sunday afternoon.

The Bedford County Sheriff's Office says they pulled the boy's body from the Lake around 3:30 p.m. The boy was reported missing around 12:30 Sunday afternoon.

Authorities say the young boy could not swim but earlier in the day the boy was playing in the lake with his father. At that time he was wearing a life jacket.

After the two were done playing, officials say they got out of the water, and the boy took his life jacket off.

And what happened next is a parent's worst nightmare.

"Fast boats coming into the channel and slowing down right here in front of our house. They turned out to be emergency boats with lights lit up," said Charles McKnight, as he described the scene in front of his house as search and rescue teams responded to a call for a missing child.

Officials say no one saw the child go into the water, but three hours after the call went out divers located the young boy's body.

"Dreadful, Dreadful experience being told that you have an emergency in the family that involves one of your children. It's heart-wrenching, said McKnight.

The boy is from Maryland, and neighbors say he was visiting grandparents who lived on the lake.

McKnight has multiple sons who serve in law enforcement, and says he hears stories like this all too often.

"Safety first, can't stress it enough. It comes home in a situation like this when it's a family member and it's a dreadful experience for everybody, it's terrible," said McKnight

The Sheriff's department says that it's always important to keep a close watch on children anytime they are around water.