Community mourns Pitman HS senior who drowned in Alcyon Lake

Authorities say that 18-year-old Victor Rodriguez went missing Sunday at Alcyon Lake. A neighbor tried to save the student, but it was too late.

Matt Trapani and Joti Rekhi

Jun 13, 2023, 9:00 PM

Updated 368 days ago

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Friends, classmates and loved ones are mourning a Gloucester County high school senior who drowned just days before graduation.
Authorities say that 18-year-old Victor Rodriguez went missing Sunday at Alcyon Lake. A neighbor tried to save the student, but it was too late. Crews recovered Rodriguez’s body Monday after a 17-hour search.
Friends remembered Rodriguez as a kind and funny young man.
“It’s kind of crazy how one day he’s here, the next day he’s gone,” says Pitman High School student Jaiden Ammons.
The students took time away from their final exams on Tuesday to mourn their friend.
“I’m trying to remember him in the good ways. I never had a bad memory with Victor, whether it was wrestling or outside of school. He’s a fun-loving kid. He really is. He’s a great kid. And I think he’s living through us in really good funny ways because he was a goofy funny great kid,” says friend Ryan Datz.
Pitman High School officials provided support for students like Datz who wrestled with Rodriguez in school. Rodriguez planned to continue the sport at Camden Community College in the fall.
“I kept pushing him to because he was really good. And he got a lot better in the year we worked together,” says Datz.
Some students tell News 12 New Jersey that Rodriguez may have ended up in the lake after what is known as “Senior Scavenger” – an event that entails a list of challenges in the area.
“I was in shock at first. I didn’t really believe it. I thought it was for Senior Scavenger, like a prank or something. Then when I heard the truth, and I heard like the cops and everything, that’s when I actually thought it was real,” says student Aydin Miranda. “He only had three more days left to graduate.”
Many students are choosing to only focus on the good things and memories.
“I want his memory to keep living. I want this to serve not as a learning experience, but more so kind of having his memory keep living on. I don’t want him to ever die out,” says Datz. ‘We’re going to get through it one day at a time.”
A GoFundMe has been created to help pay for funeral arrangements for Rodriguez.


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