A petition has been created to call for authorities to investigate the death of Elijah Weatherspoon, an 18-year-old Black and Puerto Rican male whose body was found Sunday (June 28) after a boating trip with his friends.
According to Live 5 News, the Charleston County Coroner identified Weatherspoon’s body Monday (June 29). “At this time, the cause of death is pending awaiting autopsy,” said Deputy Coroner Elizabeth Dobbins.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) responded to a call on Thursday (June 25) that a boater went missing around 11 pm near the Ravenel Bridge. A witness says Weatherspoon entered the water from the boat and never resurfaced.
“What we’ve found out so far, the facts seem to indicate, that a young man went off the back of the boat into the water,” SCDNR Captain Robert McCullough said. “One of the other boys in the boat went in after him, made contact, but could not get him out.”
Nine people were on the boat with Weatherspoon and authorities have interviewed each of them. There is currently an online petition alleging that his death was the result of foul play. “If anything comes up if there’s any foul play or anything that like that, we will pursue it the end... if anything comes up,” McCullough said. “I will say this too, accidents happen.”
The petition, created by a family friend, states that all of the friends on the boat with Weatherspoon were allegedly white. It also states that all of them have conflicting reports on what happened. The petition, which has almost 30,000 signatures so far, also states that he could swim.
“I want people to be safe out there on the water and enjoy yourself, but this is, I mean this is one of those tragedies,” McCullough said. “I really hate to say it, but I can’t tell you how many times somebody will jump in the water to either cool off or just never come up. It’s the weirdest. It’s very odd that that happens, but it does.”
We will keep you updated with the latest. To sign the petition, click here.