Teen's body recovered from Mercer County lake

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Watch the report from Action News at 4 p.m. on June 22, 2017. (WPVI)

Authorities have recovered the body of a teenager who was swept away by storm-tossed currents in a New Jersey lake.

The body of 17-year-old Marty Barchue was recovered at about 8:30 Thursday morning in a marsh not far from where witnesses last saw the high schooler.

Barchue disappeared while swimming with three other teens at Rowan Lake in Hamilton Township, Mercer County on Wednesday.
The four teens were out for a swim to celebrate the first day of summer, but they were caught in a pop-up storm.

"And then the current was so heavy that it took him," Jarod Tatarek of Hamilton Township, New Jersey said.

Fifteen-year-old Jarod described the nightmarish scene moments after they jumped into the marsh on the edge of Roebling Memorial Park.

"I tried to reach out to sort of grab him, we were like this (clasping hands) and then like since the current was so strong, it took him away from my hand and he went down going under, coming up gasping for air," Jarod said.

For several agonizing seconds, he saw Marty being swept away by the current, bobbing up and down in the water, gasping for air as he came up.

"And then when he went around like the corner, I lost sight of him. The current was so heavy and he didn't know how to swim. Maybe he shouldn't have gone in, or we shouldn't have gone in," Jarod said.

As the search went on, neighbors held a grim watch nearby conveying a sense of the unthinkable, soon to be confirmed by authorities.
The four teens were only casually acquainted. Barchue attended Hamilton West High School.

Locals who know the park and the water are surprised anyone would want to swim there.

"We used to pass through here as kids all the time. Nobody, nobody would swim here as far as I know," said Joe Malczan.

In part because it's a swampy tidal area with tricky currents - an area better for boating and fishing than swimming.

Police said there will be an autopsy done in this case, with the findings not expected for a couple of days. However, they said there nothing to indicate that this was anything but a tragic accident.

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Related Topics:
new jersey newsmissing swimmerteenagermissing personHamilton Township (Mercer County)
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