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Apple Valley teen drowns at Shaver Lake while celebrating his 19th birthday

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. ( — Authorities identified a 19-year-old who drowned in a lake during his birthday celebration as Jonathyn Bradford, a resident of Apple Valley.

Bradford along with his family and friends left the Victor Valley on Monday night and traveled approximately 300 miles up north to Shaver Lake located in Fresno County.

On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, what should have been a joyous birthday celebration ended tragically after Bradford went underwater and never resurfaced.

According to an ABC30 report, “Bradford jumped off the rock into the water and while he was swimming back towards his family, he asked for help. Family members initially thought he was joking, but he went down and never came back up.”

The Fresno Sheriff’s Office said at about 5:00 PM their dispatch received a call of a possible drowning in the lake. Patrol deputies, along with members of the Sheriff’s Dive Unit, and Boating Enforcement responded.

“Our sergeant in charge of the Boating Unit happened to be camping at the lake, became aware of the situation and responded on his personal jet ski to help with the search,” stated Fresno County Sheriff’s spokesperson Tony Botti.

At about 7:00 PM, members of the Dive Unit found Jonathyn Bradford about 25 feet offshore from where his family was gathering, stated Botti.

Geancarlo Govea commented on the Fresno County Sheriff’s’ Office Facebook page and said she witnessed them jumping from the rocks and swimming. “I only wish I would’ve seen him asking for help. I would’ve jumped in. Hearing the family cry and scream was horrible, I can’t get it out of my head.”

Bradford graduated from Granite Hills and worked at the Recycling Center on I Avenue and the Jack in the Box on Bear Valley and Navajo Roads. He’s described as an extremely good kid that was always happy, funny, and making people smile.

Apple Valley man drowns in shaver lake
(Photo courtesy Fresno County Sheriff’s Office)

Jonathyn’s best friends “Stavi” and Frankie shared the following messages with VVNG:

“I’m so thankful for all the advice you gave me and all of the times you were there for me. I could call you any time if it was midnight or the afternoon you would answer. I’m going to remember all of our little play fights and all the times you used to be like “now look at Chu”. I just can’t believe you’re gone, you will forever be remembered. As you would say I adore you, fly high goofball,” wrote Staviana Massie about her best friend.

“If you were here bro I would tell you that I just wanted to say that you are my brother and that I would do anything for you. When I got bullied and didn’t have friends you were there and even when I had my heart broken you were there. The bond we had was unlike anyone I had ever met. I wish I got the chance to say goodbye high brother Rest In Peace,” stated his best friend Frankie Lucas.

Frankie, Staviana, and Jonathyn posing for a photo in front of Silverwood Lake in Hesperia. (Photo courtesy of
Frankie, Staviana, and Jonathyn posing for a photo in front of Silverwood Lake in Hesperia.

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