Teen drowns; family wants answers

By Tim Pulliam , Chris Robbins - Producer

WORTHINGTON, Fla. - Family members of a teenage boy who drowned in Union County on Saturday are speaking out for the first time.

The family says they had no idea Charlil McCastle, 17, was swimming in a private pond at a pre-Thanksgiving church event when he went under and never resurfaced.

McCastle's mother says he was an avid swimmer, but questions, why did the adults allow the teen to get in the water in the middle of November, and why wasn't he being watched?

McCastle was a senior at Union County High School. He had big dreams of one day becoming a physical therapist. But that ended over the weekend when he drowned in an 8 foot deep, man-made pond at a home off 121st Avenue in Worthington.

McCastle's mother, Darcel, says her world is shattered.

"I got a phone call that there had been an accident and that he was in the water and they couldn't find him" Darcel said. "You're going to a church event, and he just never should have been in the water. I know it was a tragedy. I know that, but it's the middle of November. It's just too cold. And I believe that's what cramped his legs. It's too cold, it's too cold."

Darcel says she didn't know the event was near a pond.

"One of the kids asked if it's okay to go swimming and I said, 'son I don't care,' but that's not what we are here for," said Pastor Terry Elixson of Grace Christian Fellowship, who hosted the event. "Did anybody supervise them? As far as adult supervision? There were probably 100 people there. I was not apart of the supervision if there was. I'm devastated. I'll be honest, I've had trouble sleeping. I've talked to his father everyday. His mother too. They're hurt, I know. I'm hurt. "

Charlil's funeral will be held at Union County High School on Saturday at 11 a.m. His family is raising money for his funeral. Click here if you would like to help donate.

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