Body of missing teen found in rain-swollen creek - KCTV5

UPDATE

Body of missing teen found in rain-swollen creek

Posted: Updated:
JOHNSON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -

The body of an 18-year-old man who apparently drowned in a rain-swollen creek has been found, the Missouri Highway Patrol says.

Brian VanMeter, a recent graduate of Kingsville High School, was one of three people in a jon boat on Big Creek on Sunday when their boat hit something and started taking on water. An idyllic Sunday afternoon turned tragic.

Johnson County Sheriff Charles Heiss said all three of them ended up in the water, but only two of them made it to shore. The 17-year-olds then walked to a nearby house and called for help about 6 p.m.

Johnson County fire Chief David Miller said that none of them had life jackets on and the water was rough from the rains.

Crews have been searching since Monday the water and shorelines near Southwest 1871 Road and Southwest 800 in La Tour, located about 10 miles east of Harrisonville.

The body was found shortly before noon Friday downstream from where the man went missing.

In addition to law enforcement officials, friends had assisted in the search.

"He was a real laid back and easygoing guy," said Dustin Chamberlain.

VanMeter wanted to be a farmer.

"We send our prayers out," Sam Lairson said.

Crews spent hours this week searching.

"We're giving it 100 percent," Miller said earlier in the week, adding all the professional searchers and volunteers are united in a common goal. "We want to find him. That's our goal out there."

Family friend Sherry Johnson said her heart breaks for the missing man's family, including his parents and grandparents.

Sherry and husband Jerry Johnson said Brian was a constant presence at his grandfather's business, where he helped repair farm equipment.

"He's always wanting to come over the shop and help us. He was just a workaholic," she said. 

Brian graduated high school on May 10 and turned 18 on May 15.

"And now, he's gone," Johnson said.

KCTV5's Dave Jordan contributed to this report.

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