Multiple law enforcement agencies and emergency crews were called to the Potomac River behind the R. Paul Smith Power Station on Lockwood Road Tuesday afternoon, shortly after 3 p.m. for what appeared to be a suspected drowning.
“There was an 18-year-old male that entered the water. Friends who were with him noticed he was struggling to swim, went in an attempt to help, but lost sight of him,“ said Carly Hose, Public Information Officer for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Around 5:20 p.m rescue crews were able to recover the body from the water. The victim, Jovawn Burns, was found deceased. Robert Stotelymer and Paul Sisler say they were friends with Burns. They say Burns was fishing with two of their other friends. Stotelymer and Sisler were not at the scene when he drowned, but heard from their friends what had happened.
“Once he fell into the water his cousin tried to keep a hold of him, tried to pull him back out, but with him panicking and everything, he just eventually he lost grip and went straight under basically,“ said Sisler.
Stotelymer and Sisler say their friends who were with Burns were very distraught, so the two came to offer support.
“Us ourselves, that’s why we’re here, trying to keep everyone calm and together and stand strong for the situation itself,“ said Sisler.
Burns was sent to the office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.