2 Bodies Found Near Location Where 2 Teens Disappeared at N.Y.C. Beach After Being Swept Away by Rip Tide

The discoveries come more than a week after Elyjha Chandler and Christian Perkins disappeared in the water while visiting Jacob Riis Park on June 21

<p>AP Photo/Kathy Willens</p> Jacob A. Riis Park

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Jacob A. Riis Park

Two bodies have been found near the location of the disappearance of two teens at a New York City beach more than a week ago.

Police said an unconscious and unresponsive male was found around 9 p.m. local time on June 29 near Beach 114th Street and Ocean Promenade in Queens, according to CW affiliate WPIX and the Gothamist.

Another unconscious and unresponsive male was found near Beach 149th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard around 11 a.m. the next day. Both individuals were pronounced dead.

Authorities have yet to identify the victims. But family members told the New York Daily News they believe one is 16-year-old Elyjha Chandler, who vanished after they were swept away by a riptide at Jacob Riis Park on June 21.

Urshell Chandler, Elyjha’s father, told the newspaper that he was told a person was walking their dog when they found the body washed up.

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“I feel relieved but still sad,” Urshell explained. “We got some closure in this with finding the body, now we can make proper funeral arrangements.”

Christian Perkins, 17, has also been missing since June 21. A family member told the Daily News that they have not yet learned if the second body belongs to the missing teen.

Isadora Velcy did not know the teens but was on the beach when they entered the water and raced for help when she saw they were in trouble, according to NY1.

“We ran for the lifeguards and there were two girls that was sitting on the, on the chair and then we had screamed and ran back and I actually went in the water to see if I can still see his body, but I had to go back because the waves were so strong,” Velcy said.

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Velcy attended a vigil for Elyjha held on June 28 to mark the teen’s 17th birthday, NY1 reported.

Elyjha was a junior at Wingate High School and was expected to graduate in 2025, according to the Daily News.

Shawanda Chandler, Elyjha’s older sister, said her brother had enough credits to graduate from high school this summer but wanted to remain with his friends, according to The New York Post. She described him as “the perfect little brother” who was “always smiling.”

“It feels unfair to be alive,” Shawanda said. “My brother was gonna do so much stuff.”

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The U.S. Coast Guard scoured 600 miles of ocean from Sandy Hook, N.J., to Long Beach, N.Y., for the boys before it suspended its search for the pair, according to a news release from the agency.

“The decision to suspend a search is always difficult and weighs heavily on all involved,” said Capt. Jonathan Andrechik in the June 22 release. “Our crews, along with our partner agencies, have conducted an exhaustive search, and our thoughts remain with the families during this difficult time.”

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