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Witnesses report body washed ashore near large cross

Posted at 10:28 AM, Apr 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-15 11:42:17-04

Beach-goers who discovered the body that is believed to be a missing King High School senior said the teen’s body washed up close to a large cross that was posted in the sand dunes.


Jesani Smith’s father, whose 18-year-old son went missing on Thursday,  posted on social media that his son’s body was found Sunday afternoon.

We got him my son is out the water and thank everyone for their prayers in their support

Posted by Terry Denson on Sunday, April 14, 2019

According to police, the body was found around 4:30 p.m. Sunday about five miles south of Bob Hall Pier.

The 18-year-old King High School senior and two friends were swimming somewhere between the pier and Packery channel Thursday afternoon when a rip current pulled them out to sea.

The other two boys made it back to shore. Smith did not.

The U.S. Coast Guard searched more than two days for Smith and covered more than 1,800 square nautical miles.

Fernando Zaragosa, who says he knew Smith, said, “We just want to thank all of the volunteers, the Coast Guard, the police department, everybody. Volunteers that were all over, I know his dad reached out for some volunteers from the public and those who responded, God bless you guys. You helped bring closure for his family.”

Forensic investigators with the Nueces County Medical Examiner’s Office haven’t officially identified the body.