EDEN, N.C. — Weeks after a family rode inflatable tubes over a seemingly tiny but deadly Duke Energy dam, the corpse of the final person missing from a North Carolina river tragedy that killed five people has been discovered.
On June 16, she was floating down the river with a group of nine relatives from Eden and LaPorte, Indiana, when they went over the dam, which is about 8 feet (2.5 meters) high. The next afternoon, a Duke Energy employee found survivors and contacted 911.
According to the sheriff’s office, Rueben Villano, 35, and his children Irene, 18, and Eric, 14, as well as his nephew Karlos Villano, 14, were rescued. Their injuries were treated at a nearby hospital by all four of them.
The bodies of Rueben Villano’s partner British Crawford, 27, and Teresa’s partner Antonio Ramon, 30, as well as Teresa’s niece, Sophie Wilson, 14, were discovered the same day, according to the sheriff’s office. Isiah Crawford, British Crawford’s 7-year-old son, was discovered dead a few days later. Teresa, Rueben’s twin sister, was pregnant when she went missing in the sea, according to their mother, who told The Washington Post.
Low-head dams are infamous for trapping individuals in the strong current that churns at their base, according to boating experts.