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Missing teen's body recovered from Hope Mills creek

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A 17-year-old is missing after diving into Rockfish Creek to recover a slice of pizza. (Brandon Herring, WNCN) A 17-year-old is missing after diving into Rockfish Creek to recover a slice of pizza. (Brandon Herring, WNCN)
HOPE MILLS, N.C. -

The body of a missing Hope Mills teen was recovered Thursday, 50 feet from where he was last seen in Rockfish Creek.

Cameron Draughon, 17, went missing Wednesday afternoon after he dived into Rockfish Creek to recover a slice of pizza.

Cumberland County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Tanna said Draughon and a girl were swimming near Muscat Road and Parkton Road in Hope Mills, when around 4:30 p.m. a friend outside the water tossed a pizza slice into the water.

The Gray's Creek High School student dived for the slice and friends say he never came back to the surface, Tanna explained.

Tanna said three divers returned to the water Thursday to resume the search for Draughon. At least eight other searchers were working in teams on the banks of the creek.

The search encompassed a circumference of about one mile Tanna said, with the deepest part of the creek being 35 feet in the search area.

Draughon's body was about 50 feet from where he went missing. The water is between 10 and 15 feet where he was found.

Principal Vernon Aldridge at Gray's Creek High School, where Draughon was a rising senior, said the teenager was a student who stood out.

"Cameron was very charismatic, very well liked by the students and the faculty here at Gray's Creek High School, and you can't help but to like Cameron because he had such an outgoing personality," Aldridge said.

Draughon played football in 9th and 10th grades, Aldridge said, and he was looking forward to his Senior year when he would be a peer helper in the school's office. It is a position reserved for 20 Seniors who apply and are selected each year.

"Not only was Cameron part of their family but also an extended family here at Gray's Creek High School," Aldridge said as a message to Draughon's family, "and that we're there for them if they need us."

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