Candlelight vigil, funeral plans for teens who went missing, drowned

CATAWBA CO., NC (WBTV) - The families of 18-year-old Jake Ziegler and 17-year-old Ray Pierce have announced plans to hold a joint memorial service in honor of the two teens.

After being missing for more than two weeks, searchers found their car in a creek near the Wateree River in Kershaw County SC just off I-20.

Troopers believe the car went off the left side of the road narrowly missing a guardrail, down a steep embankment and came to a stop in the river.

Kershaw County Coroner Johnny Fellers determined that both teens died from asphyxia due to drowning.

The two had left the Sherrills Ford area of Catawba County in the early morning hours of October 13th headed to Myrtle Beach.

A massive search was launched by family, friends and law enforcement after the teens cell phones were turned off and they weren't heard from for several hours.

The boys were found by volunteer searchers from the Community United Effort (CUE) Center for Missing Persons out of Wilmington, NC.  CUE volunteers alerted authorities to a vehicle upside down in the river around 4:20 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

The teens families filed a report with the CUE Center on October 14, the day after the teens first went missing.

The teens were both seniors at Bandys High School.

Students there have spray painted the school's spirit rock in honor of the boys and also marked their side-by-side spots in the student parking lot with paint.

Services for both teens will be held at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home Chapel in Mooresville at 2PM Saturday, November 3rd.

There will be a candlelight vigil Friday night, November 2nd at Bandys High School on the band practice field at 6:15 p.m.

Instead of flowers, the families are asking for donations to be made in the boys names to the C.U.E. Center for Missing Persons. The group is a non-profit agency dedicated to finding missing people.

You can find more information on C.U.E. at

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