‘They killed him, and they watched him drown’: mother of Pelion High student wants authorities to look closer

Updated: May. 7, 2019 at 12:12 PM EDT
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ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) - We are getting a look at Lexington District 1 student who drowned Sunday afternoon in Orangeburg County.

Marcus Dwyer III was an 18-year-old student-athlete at Pelion High School. According to an incident report, he drowned just before 4 Sunday at Carson Landing, near North and in the Edisto River.

Witness reports state Dwyer III and others who he was with, jumped from a bridge on Highway 321 into the water. After some time, Dwyer III did not resurface. The family wants the truth to come out and do not agree with the incident report. They believe Dwyer III was pushed off of the bridge and he did not jump, as the incident report states. His family is frustrated and they want answers from authorities.

Dwyer III was a star student-athlete and a loving son. He was known as ED by most and was about to graduate at Pelion High.

Roshika Mickens, his mother, says Dwyer III was out with a group of people Sunday afternoon when he was pushed into the water from a bridge overlooking the Edisto River.

“He is our joy, like he bring life to everything, every situation, everything,” Mickens said. “Everybody that know E-D knows he can’t swim. Everybody, when I tell you everybody.”

The incident report given to us by the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office says a witness told deputies one person jumped into the water from the bridge and met up with a second person.

The report says both of them encouraged Dwyer III to jump off the bridge and he did. Investigators say Dwyer III tried to swim toward a friend and began to struggle as others pushed him away, eventually witnesses lost sight of Dwyer III.

“They killed him, that’s what I said, and they watched him drown. And they tell me, my son, jumped in the water, you ain’t going to tell me that. You ain’t going to tell me that, you can’t tell me that,” Mickens said.

While Mickens questions the official report, she and her family mourn the loss of her son.

“I did tell him I love him, but if I knew that was my last time, oh my God,” Mickens said.

The people Dwyer was with, his mom says, were his girlfriend and others that go to Pelion High school, but the school district has not yet confirmed that.

We asked the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s office if this was a criminal investigation, they say no evidence of foul play at this time, but all possibilities are being investigated. Authorities also add that they are waiting on the Orangeburg County Coroner’s final report.

The Orangeburg County Sheriff released this statement: “It’s been a difficult weekend for all involved. We pray for this family at the loss of so promising a young man. He was set to graduate in a few weeks, popular in school and had only planned for a day of fun at the river that turned tragic. We ask all to pray for this family.”

In a message from Lexington County School District 1 officials say “District counselors and school psychologists arrived at the school early this morning to help students and staff deal with their loss.”

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