CHARLESTON, S.C. — Officials with the S.C. Law Enforcement Division and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources say they have determined the drowning death of Elijah Weatherspoon was an accident.
Weatherspoon drowned near Sullivan’s Island on June 25th, and detectives say the investigation has been closed after the Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office determined the incident was a boating accident, according to a news release.
“The accidental death of anyone is a tragedy; especially when it is a young person,” said SLED Chief, Mark Keel. “I hope knowing the facts of what happened can help in the healing process for all those who knew and loved this young man. Our hearts go out to the Weatherspoon family for their loss.”
Detectives say the investigation into Weatherspoon’s death stretched over four months and involved almost 40 witnesses.
“These situations are always very difficult, and one of our most important tasks in a Search & Rescue operation or boating fatality investigation is to bring closure to a grieving family,” said Col. Chisolm Frampton, SCDNR’s Deputy Director for Law Enforcement. “A complete and thorough review of the available evidence in this case was conducted and the results have been shared with Elijah’s parents.”
Investigators say they interviewed all of the witnesses to ensure the facts and evidence of the case were found.
“While there were many rumors about what happened, our role is to uncover and report the facts of the case,” said Keel. “I want to thank the many responding agencies who
helped SLED and DNR in this investigation.”
“I’d like to personally thank all of the agencies that assisted in the initial search and rescue effort and the subsequent investigation,” said Frampton, “including the U.S. Coast Guard, the Mount Pleasant Police Department, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, the Coroner’s Office and SLED.”