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Two bodies found off Rockaways where two teens went missing nearby, police say


Police say they found two bodies on the shore of the Rockaways over the weekend, and one of them has been identified by family members as a teen who went missing in the water at Jacob Riis Park late last month.

Relatives of 16-year-old Elyjha Chandler told the Daily News on Sunday that officials confirmed he’d been found. Chandler and another teen disappeared while swimming at Jacob Riis Park on June 21.

Police said one of the bodies was found Saturday night around 9 p.m. near Beach 114th Street and Ocean Promenade in Queens. The other body was found Sunday around 10:45 a.m. near Beach 149th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard— almost two miles west.

NYPD officials said both bodies were male, but did not immediately confirm their identities or say how long they’d been in the water.

Experts say intense erosion at Jacob Riis Park over the last few years is contributing to rip tides and other hazardous swimming conditions at the beach, which is run by the federal government.

Man-made jetties— like the ones being built by the Army Corps at the nearby city-owned beaches— can also have a dangerous effect by disrupting currents, said John Fletemeyer, the chair of the International Drowning Prevention Alliance.

Officials said the Rockaway shoreline was closed to swimmers when the boys disappeared around 6:30 p.m. that Friday. No lifeguards were on duty at the time.

“The teens tried to jump up to kind of slice the wave. The wave was extremely high, and it went on top of them and sucked them over,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry told reporters last month.

Divers searching for the boys that evening had to retreat from the rough surf for their own safety, according to Daughtry. The following Tuesday, the NYPD called off the search.

Police officials said the Office of the City Medical Examiner had yet to identify the bodies and determine how they died.

This is a developing story and may be updated.



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