Pond Tragedy: Family says 4-year-old was jolly boy who loved his grandfather

Posted at 11:26 PM, Apr 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-17 23:56:51-04

CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. -- Officials located the bodies of a young boy and his grandfather who disappeared after they went fishing on a pond on their property in Caroline County Saturday afternoon.

Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa said the body of 4-year-old Jalen E. Stewart was found around 12:15 a.m. Sunday. Dive teams recovered the body of Stewart's grandfather, 73-year-old Alvin "Boone" Clark, at 11:15 a.m.

Family members said the pair had gone fishing around 2 p.m. When Clark's wife called to check on her husband at 2:30 p.m., there was no response. She didn't think anything was wrong at the time. When she hadn't heard from them later that afternoon, she went down to the pond around 5 p.m. and discovered the capsized jon boat.

"My uncle always said he lived the life. That's what he told us that Thursday. I done lived my life. So he put the rest of his life in his grandson," Clark’s nephew, James Jeter, said.

Jeter remembered Saturday afternoon as just a normal day for his family.

"From what we gathered, Pop-Pop wanted to take him fishing, he bought a new fishing pole and they came down to the pond," Jeter said. "My aunt, she came looking for them because he'll have him back by then and they never came back."

While Jeter and his family are left with the memories of Jalen and Boone, they ask for the community's thoughts and prayers.

Jeter has a message for parents with kids.

"If you got kids, just cherish them like he did. He loved all the kids. Just put you kids first," Jeter said. "If you have kids at home, go home tonight and hug them and tell them how much you love them because tomorrow ain't promised for nobody."

Family members said this is the second tragedy for the 4-year-old's mother as he is the second child she has lost.

Both of the victims have been transported to medical examiner's office to determine the causes of their deaths.

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