Body of Missing Teenage Swimmer Recovered in West Haven

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCConnecticut.com
    Rescue crews are looking for a missing man in the water at Bradley Point in West Haven.

    Grief counselors will be available at West Haven High School Tuesday as students mourn the loss of a senior who died while swimming at Bradley Point Park on Labor Day.

    Rescue crews recovered the body of missing swimmer Alejandro Zitlalpopoca,16, of West Haven, from Bradley Point Park in West Haven on Monday afternoon.

    "Our thoughts and prayers are with Alejandro's family and friends, and we cannot imagine how heartbroken they must be,"  said West Haven Superintendent Neil Cavallaro. "We're devastated to see a student from our district pass away and will have additional support services available at West Haven High School tomorrow for any students or staff who feel they need to talk to someone."

    The school is making grief counselors available for students as well as additional staff to help with the students' need as they deal with this loss.

    A massive search began for Zitlalpopoca after he went missing while swimming with friends and family.

    Crews from Coast Guard Stations in New Haven and Cape Cod along with the Milford Fire Department and West Haven Fire Department began the search just before 3 p.m.

    At 7:18 p.m., his body was recovered 30 yards off shore in approximately five feet of water.

    The incident remains under investigation.

    "It basically looks like a tragic accident," Chief James O'Brien said. "A young man was swimming and we're not sure what happened."

    There were no lifeguards at Bradley Point that day, but the chief said he doesn't know if they would have made a difference.

    One West Haven resident who witnessed the commotion had called 911.

    "They said what do you see and I look and see two heads," Ellen Steffen, of West Haven, said. "I couldn't see the third one."

    She also said, "I just can't believe it how quickly something can happen and how horrible."

    Zitlalpopoca's body will be transfered to the medical examiner's office. The cause of death is under investigation.