Body of Missing Teen Found After Long Search

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WACO (June 13, 2014) After a more than 20 hour search, the body of Lacharles Montgomery, the teenager whose car was swept off Mars Drive near the Midway High School soccer fields, was recovered late Friday night.

The missing teenager's car was found at around 8 a.m. Friday, about a mile from where police think he became stranded in high water. (Photo by Taina Maya)

Officials believe Montgomery was ejected from his vehicle at some point.

His body was located just after 8 p.m. Friday in the same general area where searchers found his car earlier.

The body was sent to Dallas for an autopsy.

"We ask that this stark reminder of how truly short life can be, give us all reason to remember how fortunate we are and to hold those we love a bit closer tonight," Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said Friday night.

"We also ask for your continued thoughts and prayers for LaCharles family in the coming days."

Dozens of firefighters, law enforcement officers and volunteers fanned out along the creek Friday in hopes of finding Montgomery, 18, who was driving home from his job at a local theater just before 1 a.m. Friday when his car hit high water on Mars Drive, leaving him stranded.

He first called his parents and then a friend before calling 911 by which time the car was floating in the rising water.

He wasn’t sure of his location, though, and told the operator he thought he was near the Midway High School soccer fields.

Dispatchers then lost contact with the teen.

The friend he called told News 10 Friday evening that water was beginning to fill the car as he talked to Montgomery.

He said Montgomery didn’t know how to swim.

Firefighters were sent to the area, but could find no trace of Montgomery or his car.

Attempts to ping his cell phone to establish his location were unsuccessful, police said.

The pilot of a Department of Public Safety helicopter spotted the teenager’s Volkswagen just before 8 a.m. Friday, about a mile from where Montgomery made the frantic calls seven hours earlier.

The windows and sunroof were smashed out and it appeared the vehicle had rolled several times.

The McLennan County Sheriff's Office helicopter piloted by Lt. Shawn Nixon was providing support from the air Friday morning as part of the massive search.

Dogs were also brought in to help.

The City of Waco was using a camera-equipped drone, as well.

Residents on ATVs and four-wheelers were also looking in the area, and some of Montgomery’s friends and former teammates and classmates also joined the search.

Montgomery was a linebacker on the Midway High School football team during his senior year.

Officers said they had never seen the water so high on Hewitt Drive as it was early Friday.

Flat Creek spread from a quarter to a half mile outside of its banks.

(Julie Hays, Carlos Garcia and Jim Peeler contributed to this story)

LaCharles Montgomery (Midway ISD photo)