22-Year-Old Victim Who Drowned In Catawba River Identified

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — According to Mount Holly Police, the 22-year-old victim that drowned in the Catawba River in Gaston County Sunday afternoon has been identified.

Officers responded to the scene around 1:30 p.m. on Mountain Island Road at Tailrace Park in Mount Holly.

Police say that witnesses advised that the victim and another person were swimming approximately 50 feet off the bank when the victim went under the water and never resurfaced.

The victim, identified as Nelson Omar Hernandez Bonilla, who is from Columbus, Ohio and has been working in Charlotte was declared dead at the scene, officials say.

According to a news release, the victim was not wearing a life preserver at the time of the incident and no foul play is believed to be involved. There was no indication that alcohol was a factor, however any determination regarding contributing factors or medical issues is pending toxicology reports from the Medical Examiner.

Mount Holly Fire, Gaston County Police, and CMPD assisted in the search and recovery.