Rockford Beach Park closed following drowning of 14-year-old student

JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO - Rockford Beach Park is closed until further review following the drowning of 14-year-old Devon Lavelle Cotton.

Cotton went missing while swimming in the Big River on Wednesday, May 31. His body was discovered downstream of Rockford Beach near House Springs, MO.

The victim's family tells FOX 2 that two boaters spotted a body and alerted family members who were at the beach. Two of the boy’s uncles boated out and confirmed that the body was Cotton’s. They have called the Missouri Highway Patrol Water Patrol to have the body removed from the river.

On Wednesday afternoon, Devon and some friends tried to swim across the swollen river to some rocks. The friends said the current became too strong about three-quarters of the way across and pushed Devon towards the rapids. The other kids said Devon went under and never resurfaced.

The fourteen year old was going to be a sophomore at Kirkwood High School.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol used divers to search for the boy for two days the continued with surface searches after that.