Search continues for teen missing in the James River

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

CHARLES CITY, VA (WWBT) -  The search continues for a teenager believed drowned in the James river. The family of a 16-year-old holds out hope -- for some sort of closure.

Rescue crews are still searching the waters near Lawrence Lewis Jr. Park in Charles City County.

Roosevelt Ross went under around 3:30 yesterday afternoon and never resurfaced.

Ross is known to his family and friends as Junior -- they have been here at the park virtually around the clock as the search for him continues.

"Right now I just feel empty, and I feel like no one cares," said the boy's mother, Geraldine Ross.

Geraldine is glad the search for her son is back on.  Junior is believed to have drowned after jumping into the James river Thursday afternoon.

"I got the was 3:35 -- first they say he fell in the water...then I got another call at quarter to 4 that said he was dead...that they couldn't find his body," Geraldine said.

"He loved to fish, he loved to fish...he was down here fishing with his daddy and his brother -- he went into the water for the swim...they said he stood up twice, and said he was tired."

Authorities believe Ross drowned -- and a recovery effort is now underway. Charles City, Prince George and Game and Inland Fisheries are working together -- along with a Chesterfield Fire dive team and state police, who's adding sonar equipment to the search efforts.

Ross's family is holding on to a glimmer of hope that he might still be alive

"He was a strong swimmer, just in my heart I believe he's still alive -- just the current took him," Geraldine said.

Geraldine -- clinging close to her daughters shared some thoughts with us about the teen -- a student at Franklin Military Academy and the youngest of five siblings.

"He's a sweet boy, stubborn, loving...don't mind doing anything for you -- he gets his attitude, but he was just sweet," Geraldine said.

NBC12 will continue to follow this story throughout the day.  We will bring you the very latest beginning in our afternoon newscasts at 4 p.m.

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