Search Ends For Teen Missing In Neuse River

The recovery efforts for the body of a Pamlico County teenager have been suspended.

Authorities believe Anthony Badger drowned in the Neuse River on Sunday.

Efforts to recover the 17-year-old's body ended Tuesday night. Authorities say the Marine Corps helicopter PEDRO will make daily fly-overs in the area.

Authorities says Badger was swimming with his friends Kevin Conway, also of Oriental, and John Bullard of Havelock.

County fire marshal David Spruilll says the teen was in the water with no life vest and tried to hold on to Conway, who along with Bullard, was wearing a life vest.

"Conway grabbed on to the jet ski and when he looked back Badger was gone", said Spruill.


Recovery efforts for the body of a missing Pamlico County teenager resumed Monday morning in the Neuse River.

Anthony Badger of Oriental is presumed to have drowned Sunday after he and two friends decided to go swimming.

More than a dozen members of Badger's family watched and waited on the riverside as crews continued their search.

Badger's father, Anthony Sr. said he is holding out hope. "I want to see him, I just want to see him, I hope they find him I just want to see him I miss him."

Authorities says Badger was swimming with his friends Kevin Conway, also of Oriental, and John Bullard of Havelock.

County fire marshal David Spruilll says the teen was in the water with no life vest and tried to hold on to Conway, who along with Bullard, was wearing a life vest.

"It became a case of survival because Badger panicked and began to pull on Conway and he almost went underwater as well."

"Conway grabbed on to the jet ski and when he looked back Badger was gone", said Spruill.


Pamlico County authorities now say rescue efforts for a missing teenager in the Neuse River are over. Fire Marshal and EMS director David Spruill says they're now in "recovery mode." The search continues Monday morning.

Spruill says the missing teen is 17-year-old Anthony Badger, Jr. of Oriental. He was swimming with his friends Kevin Conway, also of Oriental, and John Bullard of Havelock.

Spruilll says Badger was in the water with no life vest and tried to hold on to Conway who along with Bullard was wearing life vests.

"It became a case of survival because Badger panicked and began to pull on Conway and he almost went underwater as well."

"Conway grabbed on to the jet ski and when he looked back Badger was gone", said Spruill.


Previous Story

A search is on in Pamlico County waters at this hour for a missing young man.

Crews are searching the water off Oriental.

Officials say a teenager, believed to be age 17 or 18, was reported missing about 6:00 a.m. this morning.

A pastor who witnessed the search reported to WITN a Marine Corps PEDRO helicopter and a Coast Guard helicopter are being used in the search, along with boats from Pamlico rescue, Arapahoe fire and Cherry Point fire departments.

The Coast Guard says the teen and two others were jet skiing and swimming Sunday morning before 7:00 a.m. when the teen went under.

Below is a news release sent out just after 11 a.m. from the Coast Guard:

ORIENTAL, N.C. - The Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Pamlico County Sheriff are searching for a missing teen Sunday morning in the Neuse River near Oriental.

Pamlico 911 notified the Coast Guard at 6:30 a.m. Sunday that three teenagers had gone out on a jet ski and only two were wearing life jackets. They began swimming and the boy without the life jacket began to struggle. One of the teenagers headed for the jet ski while the other tried to get a life jacket to him. The struggling teen went under before he could get the life jacket and did not resurface.

A Station Hobucken rescue boat crew continues searching with a Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point HH-46E Pedro helicopter crew and the Pamlico County Sheriff marine patrol boat crew. A Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City MH-60J Jayhawk helicopter crew conducted a search before being relieved by the Marine Corps.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by MANDY on Jul 8, 2009 at 01:27 PM
    FAMILY you are in our prayers. .. may God send comfort to all of you.
  • by Concerned Location: NC on Jul 6, 2009 at 10:20 PM
    Prayers for the family. I hope they find him alive, but if this is not to be, I hope they just find him. Every family needs closure. May the love and peace fo the Lord surround your greiving hearts.
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on Jul 6, 2009 at 10:48 AM
    This sends chills down my spine as I feel terrible for this family and the friends of Anthony. This just goes back to mentioning that nobody needs to go off in the water without life jackets on. I don't care how good of a swimmer you are, anything could happen and you could have a stroke, heart attack, or anything else that would keep you from being able to move. It's not worth going without a life jacket. It is a dangerous risk to your life. May God be with the family and friends at this tragic time. Thoughts and prayers go out to them.
  • by teacher Location: bayboro on Jul 6, 2009 at 10:19 AM
    What a loss for his family and those of us from PCHS who knew this young person. He always had a pleasant greeting for you in the hallways and always warmed you with that smile and DEEP DEEP voice. As a student, he would not let you down on an assignment, and he would always give you focus in class. He was the student who thrived on that special personal comment you might give him or that look of appreciation for an assignment completed. A young person with many talents and so much potential, he life was cut short too soon. Young people, please be careful.
  • by The Wise One Location: NC on Jul 6, 2009 at 10:11 AM
    Friends don't let friends go into the water without life jackets! God bless the bereaved family of Mr. Badger at this time.
  • by momof3 Location: sq on Jul 6, 2009 at 08:05 AM
    I pray comfort to the family, friends, and rescue personnel involved. May God grant you peace during this tough time.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 6, 2009 at 05:41 AM
    It is so sad to me how many lives the water seems to claim. I have enjoyed the water all of my life, it is so sad to me that this teenager has lost his life in the water. God bless his friends and his family. People please be safe and wear a life vest when you are in water over your head!
  • by Mary Location: Greenville on Jul 6, 2009 at 05:34 AM
    My thoughts and prayers are with the family of this young man.
  • by someone Location: eastern nc on Jul 5, 2009 at 03:47 PM
    yeah delbert-they save lives
  • by Delbert Location: Jonestown on Jul 5, 2009 at 02:03 PM
    Life jacket is to jet ski riding as helmet is to motorcycle riding.
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