COCKEYSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — A popular swimming club is back open after being closed for more than 24 hours after a missing man was found dead in the water–possibly from drowning.
Rochelle Ritchie has the latest on the investigation.
It’s business as usual at the Beaver Dam Swimming Club. Dozens of people flocked there Monday to cool off, while another family mourns the loss of one of their loved ones.
Cars drive into the gates of Beaver Dam Swimming Club just hours after 36-year-old Steve Jennings of New Carrollton was found dead in the water Sunday night.
“Very surprised. Because very seldom does that happen here,” swimmer Linda Barber said.
Baltimore County Police say Jennings was hanging out with friends when he went missing. His family tells WJZ Jennings had taken a 7-year-old boy to a smaller pool as the other adults in the group stayed back to cook.
“He told them that my nephew had gotten on the diving board and they asked had he seen him after that. And his answer was that he saw him on the ladder, but he never saw him get out,” said Edna Dillard, aunt.
After a 27-hour search, Jennings’ body was pulled from the murky water. WJZ tried to speak with the managers. They had no comment.
Beaver Dam Swimming Club has been the site of a number of drownings. In 2001, a 20-year-old man died in the water. And in 2002, the club was ordered to pay more than $700,000 to the family of a 24-year-old victim.
It was in a Baltimore County circuit court in 2002 where the family of 24-year-old Jamee Eben won $760,000 in a $2 million lawsuit against the club after they claimed the staff was negligent in their response to find her. Like Jennings, the family of Eben said their daughter also knew how to swim.
“She was a competitive swimmer her whole life. She was captain of the women’s swim team,” Eben’s mother said.
Jennings’ family says though it has been 12 years since the last drowning, better safety measures are still needed.
“If you’re going to have a situation like this, you should make people wear life jackets,” Dillard said.
Baltimore County Police say Jennings was found in 58 feet of water. The family says they are aware of the swim club’s former legal problems, but have not said if they plan to take legal action.
Jennings was pulled from the water just before 8 p.m. Sunday.
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