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Candlelight Vigil Held For 16-Year-Old Drowning Victim

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

Candlelight Vigil Held For 16-Year-Old Drowning Victim

CREATED May 16, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A candlelight vigil was held Friday night, to honor the life of a 16-year-old boy who drowned in Percy Priest Lake.

The vigil for Kortae Hughes was held at 6 p.m. at the Morgan Park Recreational Center for . Another vigil was also held at the Hillwood High School flag pole.

The teen’s body was recovered late Thursday night by the Metro Office of Emergency Management. Hughes’ family members had the difficult task of identifying his body. 

For Isaiah Hughes, Kortae’s older brother, saying goodbye has not been easy.

"Me and my brother were very close even though we had our ups and downs we would fight and argue," he said. "That's what siblings do, but at the end of the day we would tell each other we love each other."

Hughes drowned Tuesday afternoon, while swimming with friends at the Smith Springs Recreation area. Witnesses said Hughes was swimming with three friends when he dove in, and never resurfaced.

Heavy rain and lightning Wednesday prevented divers from resuming the search for his body. While divers searched for his body, Isaiah searched for understanding.

"It's like a point where you just get mad at the whole world and you're like, ‘why did this have to happen to me,’" said Isaiah.

Hughes was a sophomore at Hillwood High School. Students and staff spent Wednesday mourning the loss of the teenager. Those who knew him said he had a great smile, and loved football, basketball, and art.

“I'll just miss hugging him," said Isaiah. "Sometimes we didn't even have to say something to each other. I would just come up and hug him and now I can’t do that anymore."

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made. Several candle light vigils however have already been set up in his honor. A vigil has been planned Friday, from 6 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the Hillwood High School flag pole. A second vigil was also scheduled from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Morgan Park Recreational Center.

On Saturday, friends and family will also honor Hughes at his home from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.