A school study abroad trip to Belize became the site of a tragedy when an honor roll student mysteriously went missing and later turned up dead.
Tomari Aliijah Jackson was just a few days from his 15th birthday when he died Saturday.
He was visiting Belize with 31 classmates and six chaperones from North Cobb High School in Cobb County, Georgia as part of the school’s magnet program. The students were taking a swim at the Monkey Bay Wildfire Sanctuary after a long hike when Jackson went missing.
“The students were having a great time. They had just arrived that day (Saturday), when the accident occurred,” said Dr. Angela Huff, Chief of Staff, Cobb County School District.
After a search was conducted by local authorities, Jackson was later confirmed dead. The students returned home on Monday, almost a week early from their original planned date.
According to The Daily Mail, the boy’s mother Adell Forbes says he was a Boy Scout and a great swimmer.
“I wasn’t concerned about his safety,” Forbes says. She told the outlet that she hopes someone on the trip will come forward with answers about how Tomari died.
Cobb County School District Superintendent Chris Ragsdale released a statement on the matter: “On behalf of our entire school district, I offer my sincere condolences to Tomari’s family. We are deeply saddened by the loss of this talented North Cobb High School scholar and musician. Our immediate priority at this time is caring for and supporting his family and all the students, families, and school staff impacted by this tragic event.”
Tributes poured out across social media as the news spread.
A warrior just Turned into an Angel. Rip Tomari Jackson ???
— Kamree (@Kamree_) February 15, 2016
Prayers up for the Jackson family ?? we've got a warrior in heaven watching over us ??? rest easy Tomari..
— Mєℓιѕѕα♥ (@iDopeSpeak) February 15, 2016