On the morning of July 19, 22-year-old Marquis Richardson went swimming in the Delaware River in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Three days later, on the evening of July 21, after police and fire units suspended their search, Marquis’ own father found his body.
"I wasn't leaving here until I found my son," Sam Richardson told NBC Philadelphia. "I did a lot of praying. I don't have my son here on Earth no more. He's in my heart. He's in my spirit. He'll always be my little man. I love him to death. And we got him out of that damn water."
Sam and his wife, Cheryl, brought out their own boat to patrol the river and swore they wouldn’t leave until they found their son. Though Marquis had swam in the river before, he was unfamiliar with the portion he drowned in. "He was told it was OK and it was safe," Cheryl told Times of Trenton.
The morning Marquis drowned, he was seen struggling by a buoy in the river. "He touched the buoy twice," witness Jerry Shumsonk told NBC Philadelphia. "It seemed like he was doing okay. The front stroke and everything looked impressive. And he left the buoy and he went down the water a little bit."
Marquis was communicating with his girlfriend on the shore before he began struggling. "I saw him go under the water about three times," Shumsonk said. "The fourth time he never came out. I got up and called 911."
Though the New Jersey State Police and the Coast Guard came to help find Marquis, they halted the search the evening he drowned due to dangerous currents.
Police, a coroner and other officials responded to the scene after Marquis' family discovered his body.