UPDATE: Body of missing Malvern 19-year-old recovered
UPDATE: The Garland County Sheriff's Department tells KATV that the body of 19-year-old James King has been recovered.
A homeowner in the 200 block of Willman Square found the body in Lake Catherine near a dock. The body has been sent to the State Crime Lab for autopsy.
We will continue updating this story as new information comes in.
After spending the evening yesterday and part of today searching for James King's body, the Garland County Sheriff's Department suspended the search for the Malvern native.
It all started with a race to see who could swim to the other side of Lake Catherine. But it took a tragic turn when one of them did not resurface.
"He was trying to come back and he caught a cramp and you know they was trying to save him. But they didn't quite make it to him," said King's cousin, Randy Tonie.
King tried to swim across the lake with a cousin and some friends when a current pulled him under. A cramp in his leg made it difficult for him to swim back to the surface.
Family and friends gathered at his home today to pray and remember the young athlete.
"He's everything you'd want in a son. He's everything you'd want as a player, as a student. He's an outstanding young man," said King's coach, John Fogleman.
Although the Sheriff's Department has suspended the search, family members are asking the community to come together and help recover the young athlete's body."If anybody can do anything or any type of help that they can give, we are willing to take it," said Tonie. "We need as much help as we can get him because we want closure. Without him we don't have closure and that's all that we ask for," he added.The Sheriff's Department says the searched for the body using certified divers with side scan sonars but they decided to suspend the search around two this afternoon due to darkness and obstacles in the lake.The following statement was given by SAU Head Football Coach Bill Keopple: "James played for us last year as a true freshman. We watched him play as a junior at Malvern High School and we recruited him. We definitely wanted him. He was an outstanding player and wide receiver for Southern Arkansas University. He was a very talented athlete and a good kid - all of the things as a coach you look for in a player. He was a great young man and sad to hear what has happened."