Police say the body recovered Thursday evening from Percy Priest Lake has been positively identified as 16-year-old drowning victim Kortae Hughes.
His death was classified as an accident, police said.
The Nashville teenager was swimming with friends Tuesday afternoon near the Smith Springs Recreation Area when he started to struggle before going under the surface.
Hughes was a sophomore at Hillwood High School, and grief counselors reported to the school to work with faculty and staff.
William Reed said he just wanted to take his family out to enjoy the warm afternoon Tuesday.
"I didn't want to keep them cooped up in the house, so I figured we would go out swimming," said Reed.
After school let out, Reed says he took his son, two friends and 16-year-old Kortae Hughes, whom he cared for, to the lake.
"First time we ever went out for a swim," Reed said.
Kortae hadn't been feeling well Tuesday morning so he stayed home from school, Reed said. But by that afternoon, the teen, who didn't swim that well, was excited to go to the lake with his friends.
Reed says the teens were swimming around a cove on the lake. He was watching from the bank when something went terribly wrong with Kortae.
"I saw him jumping. We thought he was playing. The next thing I know, we never saw him again," Reed said.
Reed dropped his things and ran to help.
"I dived in," he said. "I was down there for a while trying to find him, feel for him, until I couldn't feel."
It was too late. Rescuers searched into the night for Kortae with no luck.
The worst part, they had to break the news to Kortae's only brother, Isaiah Hughes.
Isaiah says although he was the oldest, he learned a lot from his little brother.
"If you were in a bad situation, he had a way of turning a bad situation into a good situation," Isaiah Hughes said. "I just want people to know he was a good hearted person."
Three vigils have been announced in Kortae Hughes' honor:
Friday, May 166 to 6:30 p.m.Hillwood High School flag poleFriday, May 167 to 8 p.m.Morgan Park Recreational Center 411 Hume St., NashvilleSaturday, May 177 to 8:30 p.m.1711 Nassau St., Nashville
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