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Second person drowns at Factory Shoals Park within a week
The NCSO Dive Team searched the Shoals and the Alcovy River on Wednesday night and Thursday morning for a teenager who disappeared under the water on Thursday. The body of Bernardo Rosas, 17, was located Thursday afternoon. - photo by By Brittany Thomas

Bernardo Rosas, 17, is the second person in a week to drown in Factory Shoals Park; he went under the water Wednesday afternoon and was finally located around 1 p.m. Thursday by the Covington/Newton County Dive Team.

According to Newton County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer, Corporal Anthony Washington, Rosas was at the park with friends and was swimming from bank to bank across the Shoals. At one point, his friends reported that he called out for help. One friend attempted to swim over to Rosas and help him but got caught up in the undercurrent as well and a third person had to swim out to help him. The two made their way to the shore, looked back and saw Rosas go under the water. He never resurfaced.

The Dive Team searched the Alcovy River with a grid, bringing in a boat and divers. The search was called off due to a lack of light and inclement weather Wednesday evening. Authorities resumed their search at 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

Henry Thomas Terrell

A 59-year-old man drowned in Factory Shoals late afternoon on May 30, after leaving his home off Ga. Highway 36 around 4 p.m. that day.

Henry Thomas Terrell was reported missing by family around 8 p.m. Saturday, and while speaking with the family, deputies from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office learned that Terrell would occasionally go to Factory Shoals Park. When authorities arrived at the park, they found Terrell’s truck parked there and, after a short walk, found articles of his clothing closer to the shoals.

Members of the Newton County Dive Team converged on the shoals early Sunday morning and by mid-morning had located Terrell’s body in the water. According to NCSO 1st Lt. Mark Mitchell, the investigation into Terrell’s death is ongoing.

"The shoals run pretty fast," he said. "And the undercurrent there is very strong."

Last year 35-year-old Marie Elaina Carley died when she fell into the water in April and in July, 18-year-old Dakota A. Spruill was found dead after jumping into the water.

The Shoals is filled with rocks and fallen trees that sit just below the surface of the water, proving deadly to swimmers. Several signs are posted around the water, telling visitors that if they choose to swim, it is at their own risk and the county is not responsible.