A Cherokee, North Carolina, man was discovered drowned at a rock quarry off Lewis Road in Edgefield County, Saturday morning August 18. According to an Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, Jess McCoy, 39, who was originally from Cherokee but had been living most recently in Bradley, SC, had arrived at the site earlier on Friday around noon to fish with his girlfriend and friends from Greenwood. As the day progressed, the group decided to go swimming. McCoy, who was described by the girlfriend as someone who likes to kid around, was acting as if he was drowning so she jumped in and pulled him to a nearby rock. However, she had to return to the water to retrieve another person who could not swim well. When she returned from the water, McCoy was no longer on the rock. She thought perhaps he might have gotten up to walk around. When the group later decided to leave, though, they could not find McCoy. However, when they returned to Greenwood and McCoy never came back, the girlfriend called law enforcement to go check on him.
The Department of Natural Resources as well as the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene around 2 a.m. Saturday morning. McCoy was found in the water around 9:30 that morning.
An autopsy was performed Monday on McCoy. His cause of death was ruled asphyxiation due to drowning, and there is believed to have been no foul play involved. However, the ECSO spokesperson stated that alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor. Toxicology results are pending.