Drowning victim's family claims he was pushed underwater

Da'Quane Yewell (Source: Family photo)
Da'Quane Yewell (Source: Family photo)
Demetria Duncan
Demetria Duncan
Antavis Ford
Antavis Ford

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The family of the 13-year-old boy who drowned at Deam Lake in Clark County, Indiana Wednesday spoke to us about what they think happened.

Da'Quane Yewell's aunt and his best friend both described the young man as a strong willed kid who wanted to help his mother and play sports.

"All he wanted to do was just help his Mama," said Demetria Duncan, Yewell's aunt. "That's all he wanted to do. He was a good kid."

Thursday was anything but easy for family and friends of Da'Quane.

"I don't feel like myself," said Antavis Ford, Da'Quane's best friend. "Not no more ... knowing that he's gone, that I can't see him no more."

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Da'Quane, his brother and a group of friends were swimming at Deam Lake when Da'Quane decided to swim out to a buoy.

"He was a very good swimmer," said Ford.

Ford was part of the group swimming with Da'Quane. He said Da'Quane tried to swim, but got tired.

"So he went on this man's float," said Ford. "[He] Got on it, then the man pushed him off and held him underwater. He jumped back up and he pulled him right back under. You seen his arms flailing, then they stopped. That's when you see him go under water."

"We're getting reports, apparently, that the victim's mother has stated that maybe the victim was intentionally drowned," said Indiana Conservation Officer Jim Schreck. "Again, as far as our stance right now, that's not been substantiated."

Schreck said they are looking into the claim.

"There were multiple witnesses in the water. Again, we got this initial report last night, late in the investigation, that there was possibly something afoul. But according to all of our other witnesses, multiple witnesses that we've interviewed and folks on scene including the boys that were in the water with the victim, none of that surfaced last night," Schreck said.

According to Schreck, they do not suspect foul play at this time. But Da'Quane's aunt says her nephew's drowning was no accident

"I don't believe that. Something happened there, I'm telling you. Something happened," said Duncan. "That wasn't no foul play. That baby was killed. My nephew was killed."

Indiana Conservation officers say they are planning to re-interview all the witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to call 812-837-9536.

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