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Young Drowning Victims Identified

Two teenagers who drowned in Woodford County over the weekend have been identified.

Investigators found the bodies of 17-year-olds Rafael Mercena and Javier Garcia in the Kentucky River on Sunday night.

Police in Woodford County responded to a distress call at around 2:00 P.M. in the Lock 6 area.

Family and friends of the teens say the two boys and two other friends were fishing when Javier Garcia decided to take a dip in the river. They say the current took him under and Rafael jumped in to try to save him.

"We weren't there 45 minutes and then I don't know what happened", said Donna Foster, one of the friends with the boys fishing.

Donna Foster says the two boys were inseparable, working two jobs together to send money back home to Mexico. Family and friends say the two boys were not only best of friends, but almost like brothers.

"Very nice boys", says Ricardo Abila, a family member of Javier Garcia.

"They were together when they found them, so I guess that's good", said Donna Foster.

The coroner says this incident has been ruled a double drowning.

Visitation for the two teens is being held from 6-8 p.m. at Blackburn and Ward Funeral Home in Versailles.

The family is hoping to raise enough money to the two boys back to Mexico to be buried.


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