Deputies: 18-Year-Old Hickory High Student Drowns Weeks Before Graduation

NEWTON, N.C. — A teenager drowned in a Catawba County lake Tuesday night just three weeks before her high school graduation, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies say 18-year-old Zimera “Aveonna” Smith of Hickory, N.C. and her friend went into the water at the Lookout Shoals Boat access area on Lake Lookout around 7 p.m. to go swimming.

Police say Smith never resurfaced.

Rescuers from the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, several fire departments and wildlife officers were called in to search for her body.

After an hour of searching, rescuers say they found her body and took Smith to a local hospital.