Police ID Teen That Drowned in Cheshire Pond

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Police have identified the body of a teen found in a pond at Mixville Park in Cheshire Monday afternoon.

Officials said 18-year-old Jefferson Paul Loja, of Ecuador, was staying with family in Meriden.

Police and firefighters responded to the park around 4:15 p.m. Sunday after the 18-year-old was reported missing.

The teen was not a strong swimmer, according to police. He was in the water with a friend and when the friend came to shore, he noticed the teen was not with him, police said.

Paul Loja's aunt told NBC Connecticut that he traveled to the U.S. in February while his parents stayed in Ecuador.

"He had a lot of dreams living here to help his family and he came here to have a better life for his mom and dad," Paul Loja's cousin Donna Loja said.

In the past day or so, two people have died after spending time on the water in Connecticut. It's been a deadly season with about a dozen people dying while out for a swim or boating.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Loja drowned and his death was ruled accidental.

Divers were called in to search below the surface of the water. They resumed the search Monday morning and ultimately located the teen's body.

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