Coroner identifies teen who drowned during church outing

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Authorities have released the identity of a teenager who drowned in Lake Murray during a church outing on Sunday afternoon.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said 18-year-old Christopher J. Riddle of Columbia was swimming with friends at a home off Amenity Road when he went under the water approximately 20 feet from the dock.

Dive teams with the Richland County Sheriff's Department were called around 5:30 p.m. after Riddle did not resurface.

The dive team recovered the victim's body around 7:30 p.m. in approximately 14 feet of water.

Watts said an autopsy performed Monday shows that Riddle died from asphyxiation due to fresh water drowning. No signs of trauma were noted on the victim and it is not clear why he went under the water, the coroner said.

According to Watts, Riddle, who was able to swim, was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident.

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