Philadelphia man, brother found dead after going missing at Murderkill River

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Philadelphia man, brother found dead after going missing at Murderkill River
A Philadelphia man and his brother were found dead after going missing in the Murderkill River.

SOUTH BOWERS, Delaware (WPVI) -- Delaware State Police say a 21-year-old man from Philadelphia and his brother were found dead hours after going missing while swimming in Kent County.

The victims have been identified as 21-year-old Kevin George Jr., of Philadelphia, and his 20-year-old brother Zion George, of Tennessee.

According to authorities, Kevin and Zion, along with a 20-year-old woman and 20-year-old man from Philadelphia, traveled Tuesday for a day trip to South Bowers Beach.

Around 2 p.m., the three men entered the water in the Delaware Bay to go swimming during low tide conditions.

As they were in the water, police said, the tide changed, and the strong current pulled all three into the Murderkill River.

During this time, the Assistant Chief of South Bowers Beach Fire Department Michael Hignutt and his cousin, Timothy Smith, were fishing in the area and heard cries for help.

Police said both Hignutt and Smith entered the water in an attempt to rescue the swimmers.

Hignutt successfully rescued the 20-year-old man to shore. He then noticed the 20-year-old woman had now entered the water to try and save the others.

The woman, however, was then pulled out by the current. Hignutt was able to successfully rescue her.

Hignutt and his cousin were not able to locate Kevin and Zion.

Multiple police, fire departments, maritime, and Emergency Medical Service agencies responded to the scene and conducted a search and rescue operation.

The search efforts were suspended at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Crews returned at 9 a.m. Wednesday for a search and recovery mission.

Around 10:30 a.m., police said the body of Kevin George Jr. was recovered in the Murderkill River near where he was last seen.

Approximately 15 minutes later, Zion George was recovered in the same area.