BALLWIN, Mo. – The father of the teenage girl who drowned in the Meramec River Friday has identified her as 16-year-old Kara Wrice.
Karl Wrice told the Post-Dispatch that she was a straight-A student at Webster Groves High School and played volleyball, modeled, and worked as a lifeguard.
Emergency officials said Kara went missing around 3:15 p.m. Friday. A water rescue dive team, Metro Air, fire, and EMS responded to the Meramec River near Scenic Trail at Castlewood State Park.
Kara was reportedly swimming with adults and friends in the river. She went underwater and didn’t resurface, according to emergency crews. She was not wearing a life vest. Karl told the Post-Dispatch that Kara was drinking that day and that he and Kara’s mother didn’t know she was at the park until they were told she was missing.
Emergency officials used sonar and divers to locate her.
Kara is survived by her father, mother, and three brothers.
Bommarito Automotive SkyFOX Helicopter was over the scene to get a view from the air.
First responders issued a warning about water safety last month after at least six people drowned in just a week. Swimmers and boaters should be aware of strong currents. Wearing a life jacket may save your life.