Body of missing swimmer recovered from Lake Pontchartrain


NEW ORLEANS – The search is over for a missing 14-year-old who jumped into Lake Pontchartrain on Friday.

The body of Charles Cooper was recovered on Tuesday and the boy’s mother was there.

Cooper’s mom Kema Powell is distraught and said it felt like a lifetime waiting for her son.

Since the incident, she waited at the lake from sunup until sundown as search-and-rescue teams canvassed the area.

Cooper was with two other teens when he went in the water to get a shoe. NOPD, Wildlife and Fisheries and multiple other agencies helped search for the teen. His mom lives nearby and would help search.

Ultimately, it was someone who works at the marina who found Cooper. Tuesday afternoon, Powell heard hollering and she knew her son’s body was found.

“I felt it. I felt he was in this area and I felt he was still where he jumped at. Even with all of the different possibilities, maybe ifs, or what ifs, I just felt that he was still where he was and I was right,” Powell said.

A makeshift memorial is along the lakefront with balloons and stuffed animals.

Cooper was an avid football player, loved music and was fearless.

Autopsy results and funeral plans are pending.


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