Officials find bodies of Oconee County teens

- The bodies of two teens who went missing near the Falls of Oconee on Friday have been found.

In a press conference, Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said Bryant Wade and Cameron Smith were found shortly after 11 a.m. on Tuesday. The bodies were found 50 yards away from each other within five minutes of each other in a creek.

The family has been notified. Officials are asking to respect the families during this terrible time.

Recovery efforts are still underway to reunite the family with their children, the sheriff said.

RELATED: Search continues for teens swept away in Oconee County waterway

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office said family members reported the two missing after Cameron jumped in after Bryant who had fallen in near The Falls of Oconee near Barber Creek Friday afternoon.

Both teens were found about a quarter of a mile away from The Falls, officials said.

“We’re in recovery mode, we’re absolutely in recovery mode,” said Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry.

He said the water level on Barber Creek and the Oconee River has dropped significantly since Friday but still no sign of the two teens.

For crews, it’s an emotionally and physically challenging task through thick tangles in murky waters where divers, K-9’s and others in boats and on foot have been methodically trying to find Bryant and Cameron.

Family members, who are able, have been embedded with crews searching for the two teens.

“We want them to feel like they are a part of this. I’ve been with one kids father all day today and it’s been heartbreaking to hear him talk about his son,” said Sheriff Berry.

It’s a heartbreak made worse when the last boat was pulled out of the water on Monday with still no signs of Bryant and Cameron.

The emotional toll is hopefully eased by many in the community coming together in prayer and support of each other for answers and resolution.

“Everyone is just wanting an answer at this point everyone wants to have the closure they want to know what’s going on. Are they OK are they found we just want an answer,” said Ann Marie Stovall, who helped organize the vigil.

The Red Cross of Northeast Georgia told FOX 5 News, ‘Thanks to the generosity of the community, the Red Cross has an adequate supply of donated water and snacks to meet the needs of rescue workers for the next several days. Though greatly appreciated additional donations of food and water are not necessary at this time.’

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