Authorities identify teen swimmer who drowned at Pitts Landing - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Authorities identify teen swimmer who drowned at Pitts Landing

Billy Ray Burchell. (Source: Courtney Skinner) Billy Ray Burchell. (Source: Courtney Skinner)
Billy Ray Burchell. (Source: Courtney Skinner) Billy Ray Burchell. (Source: Courtney Skinner)
Search efforts ended Sunday evening after the body of a missing swimmer was found in the Little Pee Dee River in Conway.  (Source: Josh Roberson) Search efforts ended Sunday evening after the body of a missing swimmer was found in the Little Pee Dee River in Conway.  (Source: Josh Roberson)

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler confirms 19-year old Billy Ray Burchell's body was recovered after he drowned at Pitts Landing in the PeeDee River Sunday afternoon.

Burchell drowned just before 3:25 p.m. Sunday, Fowler said.

Fowler says he is unable to determine if Burchell could swim.

According to Horry County Fire Rescue Chief Brian Van Aernem, divers responded to Pitts Landing in Conway to assist with the search. 

Robert McCullough, with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, said DNR crews were assisting Horry County first responders with the search.

Initial reports were that a boater had gone missing. McCullough said it was actually a swimmer, and the confusion could have stemmed from the fact that some individuals in a boat were trying to offer assistance.

Horry County Police are investigating the incident.

Burchell's family has reached out to WMBF News to say that they are working on placing donation boxes around the area to help fund transport for Burchell back to Virginia and for his funeral. 

You can also donate to the family's GoFundMe account here: https://www.gofundme.com/funeralforbillyb

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