Reporting Derek Valcourt
WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ)—A young man with dreams of becoming a firefighter was pulled from the Liberty Reservoir Sunday afternoon.
Derek Valcourt reports the family is heartbroken over the news.
Now that the search is over, the investigation now turns to how he died.
City fire recruit Rodney Goggins Jr., 20, disappeared May 29. His family members found his abandoned car days later along busy Liberty Road, where it crosses Liberty Reservoir, sparking an intense search that lasted days but came up empty.
“Rodney just would never, never leave us like this, and I just want my son back home safe,” said his mother Tracey Goggins, days after her son was reported missing.
The search for Goggins came to an end around 2:30 p.m. Sunday when a boater on the reservoir called 911 to report a body.
“Rangers responded and did find what turned out to be the body of Mr.Goggins adjacent to the shore line in about a foot of water,” said Chief Luke Brackett, Baltimore City Watershed Rangers.
Police say with the information provided by Goggins family, it didn’t take long to identify the Baltimore City College graduate.
“I’m just relieved that we know where he is,” said Lloyd Carter.
Carter is deputy chief at the fire academy where Goggins became a recruit in March. He says Goggins was two months into the five-month process of becoming a full-fledged firefighter and showed promise.
“He was well-rounded, very athletic, very intelligent, very strong leadership quality, so I think he would have been an excellent addition to our department,” Carter said.
It’s a loss for the fire department but an even bigger loss for Goggins family—now helping to care for the 7-month-old daughter he leaves behind.
“We can’t imagine what they are going through but the entire fire department, our hearts go out to them and we pray for their strength in this challenging time,” said Kevin Cartwright, Baltimore City Fire Department.
The body has been sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Police are asking anyone with information about Goggins’ death to call 1-888-399-8477. You can remain anonymous.