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Prosecutors say Jacksonville teen’s drowning death in S.C. not homicide

An autopsy report showed Elijah “Nicky” Weatherspoon drowned on June 25 during a boating trip on Charleston’s Cooper River.
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 8:12 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 19, 2020 at 5:57 PM EST
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Prosecutors in South Carolina say the drowning death of a Jacksonville teen this summer was not a homicide.

Elijah “Nicky” Weatherspoon’s body was discovered on a sand bar on South Carolina’s Sullivan’s Island on June 28, just three days after he went missing during a boating trip with eight other people. His autopsy ruled it a drowning.

A spokesman for the State Law Enforcement Division told WITN late Thursday that the Charleston County Solicitor’s Office made the ruling after reviewing their investigation into Weatherspoon’s death.

OCTOBER 20TH STORY

It’s been almost four months since an 18-year-old from Jacksonville was discovered dead on the shore of Charleston.

Elijah “Nicky” Weatherspoon’s body was discovered on a sand bar on South Carolina’s Sullivan’s Island on June 28, just three days after he went missing during a boating trip with eight other people. His autopsy ruled it a drowning.

A long four months for Weatherspoon’s family, who is still waiting for a reason.

“Why? How? All of the above?” wondered Weatherspoon’s aunt Sherri Navarez, who still lives in Onslow County. “He loved his family, he was just somebody that you’d always want to be around.”

His death left his family with more questions than answers, and the ongoing investigation are leaving them more and more concerned that they aren’t getting the full story about his death.

“That’s part of the frustration, we don’t know how Nicky ended up in the water, we don’t know how the events transpired on the boat,” said his aunt Naiomi Hicks. “He was very talented. He had a lot of potential. And he was very much loved.”

His death is currently being investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, or S.L.E.D. A spokesperson for the agency declined to comment because of the open investigation, but did tell WITN News they expect the report to be released “soon.”

Hopefully in time to give his family enough closure.

“We just want to know what happened,” said Hicks. “That’s all we wanted to know from day one is what happened to Nick.”

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