8-year-old drowns at Virginia Beach on Fourth of July

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VIRGINIA BEACH (CNN) — A family in Virginia Beach is mourning after their 8-year-old son drowned.

The boy was reported missing Thursday night after he was seen playing near the water’s edge.

“It’s a real tragedy. Super sad for the family and it’s awful,” said beachgoer Stephanie Fullnew. 

Compassion this afternoon among beachgoers at the Virginia Beach oceanfront.

“You come with your whole family, and you leaving one person less than what you came with. I mean, it’s heartbreaking,” said another beachgoer. 

Heartbreak for a family after an 8-year-old boy drowned.

This was the scene early this morning along 39th Street after someone found the child’s body.

Police tell us he was reported missing around 8 p.m. Thursday night.

“At eight o’clock, the guards on the stand are not on duty. You only have the ones that are patrolling up and down the beach, so I can certainly see it happening,” Fullner said. 

Investigators say the child was last seen near the water’s edge in the area of 31st Street and the ocean.

The tragedy is leaving many parents on high alert.

“It worried me because the ocean can suck anybody in. I mean an adult, a child, an animal, anything and you never know because like they say the bottom moves.”

Some people we spoke with say they can only imagine what this family is going through.

“I feel for the family because I mean it’s your child. They’re growing up. That’s the college years you’ve been thinking of, preparing for. It’s the high school years. The graduation that’s not gonna happen.”

Police are not releasing the name of the boy to protect the family’s privacy.

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