Mansfield News-Mirror

Body found on Padre Island identified as Mansfield teen

The body of Carlos Prez, a ninth-grader at Lake Ridge High School, was found Monday on Padre Island, 25 miles from where he disappeared while playing in the surf with classmates Friday, April 1, 2016.
The body of Carlos Prez, a ninth-grader at Lake Ridge High School, was found Monday on Padre Island, 25 miles from where he disappeared while playing in the surf with classmates Friday, April 1, 2016. Courtesy

A body found Monday morning on Padre Island National Seashore has been officially identified as Carlos Perez, 16, a ninth-grader at Lake Ridge High School, authorities said.

The teen had already been identified unofficially by school friends and when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth announced a memorial Mass for him Monday evening at St. Jude Catholic Church.

Members of a sea turtle patrol found the body about 25 miles from the Bob Hall Pier where Perez disappeared Friday while playing in choppy surf with classmates.

“Between 10 and 10:15 this morning, one of the sea turtle patrollers in an ATV was out in the southern part of the park and discovered a body in the surf,” Patrick Gamman, public information officer for Padre Island National Seashore, said.

The Coast Guard had called off the search for Perez at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Corpus Christi police reported that they had responded to the initial call at 10:50 a.m. Friday. Officers met a man who told them the teenager was playing off the Bob Hall Pier on Padre Island with friends and disappeared in the rough water.

Two students, Erik Rios and Tomas Hoyos, played on the JV soccer team last season with Perez, Star-Telegram media partner WFAA reported.

“I just saw him at school on Tuesday,” Rios told WFAA. “He’s probably the most hardworking person on the team.”

Perez had been in Corpus for the SkillUSA competition for students involved in career and technology education.

School district officials said counselors were made available to campuses on Monday and will remain available all week.

Judy Wiley: 817-390-7843; @judygwiley

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