UPDATE: Search crews find body of teen swept away in creek - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


UPDATE: Search crews find body of teen swept away in creek

WACO, TX (KXXV) - UPDATE: Search crews have found the body of LaCharles Montgomery not far from where they found his car.

Police sent out their condolences to the family of Montgomery as spokesperson Patrick Swanton said they did find the body of 18 year old LaCharles Montgomery just after 8:00 Friday evening. Swanton explained it took so long to find the body because of all the debris in the creek.

Waco Fire, Waco PD, TX Game Wardens, DPS, SO and numerous others helped search for and recovered Mr. Montgomery's body. He has been sent to Dallas by Judge Peterson 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. We also ask for your continued thoughts and prayers for LaCharles family in the coming days," Swanton said in a press release.

Swanton says it's unclear if Montgomery was ejected out of his car or if he got out himself. Swanton says asks for continued thoughts and prayers for LaCharles' family in the coming days.

Just a couple hours before Montgomery's body was found, the community gathered together at Midway High School for support. Tears flowed as students, faculty and parents remembered Montgomery and wondered how this could happen.

"He's my best friend, I thought he was family, he was my brother, he had my back, he was like a teammate on the team I never had," Robert Ybarra said.

Ybarra did not play on the football team with Montgomery but filmed practices and games. He remembers his friend as quiet.

"The funny thing about him being quiet is when he would talk it put a smile on everybody's face," Ybarra said.

School counselors were also on hand to help students in the grieving process. Kim Buth is the lead counselor and says she told students it's okay however they grieve because everyone has a different process.

"It's very somber lots of uncertainty, lots of questions as to why something like this would happen to such a great young man," Buth said.

Many of the students there also helped search for Montgomery in the hot and muddy creek. Some, like Ybarra, exhausted themselves looking for their friend. Ybarra was hoping beyond hope his friend was still alive and others said the gathering was a mixture of grief and hope.

However, it was a sad end to a long day for the Midway ISD community. Ybarra, though, says it was important for everyone to come together. That's because it's summer and getting everyone in one place helps bring everyone closer, and that's important in a time like this.

"I walked in and I felt the heavy burden on my shoulders just lifted up. Everybody's here to support one another. Everybody's here for Charles," Ybarra said.

UPDATE: The search for a teen swept away in a flash flood continued late into the evening after a torrential downpour late Thursday night. 

Police have identified the missing teen as Lacharles Montgomery. He had just graduated from Midway High School and was on his way home from work at a local movie theater when he was caught in a flash flood near Mars Drive and Hewitt Drive. 

Waco police Sergeant Patrick Swanton says at one point the water reached nearly two feet above the roadway.

“The sergeant that was there at the scene told me that he had never seen the water that high on Hewitt Drive,” says Sgt.. Swanton. “He said that it was almost river like status coming across the road.”As the 18-year-old was being washed down the creek, police say he made a couple of phone calls, one to his best friend and one to his family who then called police. That was the last time anyone heard from him.

A McLennan County Sheriff's Office helicopter found Montgomery's car with the sunroof and windows busted out nearly two miles from where responders thought he washed away Thursday night. Montgomery was still nowhere to be found. Police believe the speed and force of the water caused the car to flip over multiple times as it floated away.

Search crews, classmates and citizens like Wesley Perry volunteered to join the search.

"If it were my child I would be praying that someone would be helping too,” says Perry.

Since Friday morning, crews have been scouring the banks of flat creek and the surrounding area searching for any signs of Montgomery. 


UPDATE: Police say they have found the car of the teen who may have been swept away in a creek overnight Thursday, but not him. Police have identified the missing 18-year-old as Lacharles Montgomery. Montgomery had just graduated from Midway High School.

They used the McLennan County Sheriff's Office helicopter and made one pass and found his car Friday morning. Authorities say windows are broken out and it appears the gray vehicle rolled several times.

Bloodhounds from the TDCJ were out for an unrelated investigation. They will help in the search for the missing teen.

Police say they are looking for an 18-year-old that may have been swept away in a creek.

It happened after midnight, near the intersection of Old Hewitt Rd. and Mars Dr., behind Midway High School. The driver called his family, saying that his car drifted off the road and into a creek. The family then called police.

They have not yet been able to find the driver or his car. Game wardens and firefighters also responded to the call. Firemen were out in wet suits searching through the flooded areas.

Police say they had to shut down Old Hewitt Dr. because of the flooding.

"We had to do that tonight, the water was that significantly high. The officers had to shut down Old Hewitt Dr. and actually had to pull a few cars back out of the water," said Sgt.. Patrick Swanton. "At this point, we have one vehicle that's been swept into the water. Best case scenario, we'll find him clinging to a tree somewhere."

Friday morning, police said the water started receding as the rain died down.
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