Teen from Montgomery camp drowns in park lake north of Baltimore

A 13-year-old boy from a Montgomery County summer camp drowned in a lake Friday afternoon during a visit to a park north of Baltimore, according to law enforcement authorities.

Shortly before 12:30 p.m., the youth from Camp Sonshine went missing in the water at Oregon Ridge Park, off Interstate 83 in Cockeysville and about 20 miles north of Baltimore. Police from Baltimore County said members of the department’s dive team recovered the body at 3:08 p.m.

Baltimore County Police identified him as Dennis Kemp, of Old Channel Road in Laurel, Md. They said Friday was his 13th birthday.

Police said in a statement that a group of youths were in a deep part of the lake that is roped off and where children are allowed only after they pass a swimming test. Police said all the youths had passed the test. The area of the lake where the boy drowned is 45 feet deep. Police said witnesses reported seeing the boy “in distress and watched him go under the water in a roped area where swimming is permitted.”

Three lifeguards from Oregon Ridge, who had been in their chairs when they saw the boy disappear, were searching for him when firefighters arrived.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz went to the park and spoke with the boy’s parents.

“This is a terrible tragedy, and on behalf of the citizens of Baltimore County, I offer deepest sympathy to the victim’s family and friends,” he said in a statement.

The Oregon Ridge beach and pavilion have now been closed indefinitely. The park, about 1,000 acres, includes trails, swimming and a nature center. A representative from Camp Sonshine was not available Friday afternoon to comment. A receptionist read a prepared statement confirming the death and saying that officials are cooperating with authorities.

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