The body of Tyreck Parker, a 9-year-old Port Royal boy who drowned at the state park on Memorial Day, was found Wednesday on the north end of Hunting Island, Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen said.
A park ranger found the boy's body about 6 a.m. near Johnson Creek, a half mile north of where the Mossy Oaks Elementary School second-grader went missing Monday afternoon about 35 feet from the shore near the Hunting Island Lighthouse, Allen said. An autopsy confirmed drowning was the cause of death, Allen said.
Lee Levesque, a spokesman for the Lady's Island-St. Helena Fire District, said the body was discovered before crews began the third day of searching.
Parker and two neighbors, ages 11 and 13, were climbing together on a rock groin near the lighthouse at about 2 p.m. Monday when Parker ended up in the water and was pulled beneath the waves, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office report.
"He knew how to swim, but he wasn't that strong of a swimmer," the boy's mother, Theria Parker, 26, said Tuesday. "He went up and down three times and then never came back up."