Body Found Sunday Confirmed to be Missing Southern Wayne Student

Body Found Sunday Confirmed to be Missing Southern Wayne Student

NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH — A body found around 9:45 on Sunday morning near Camp Lejeune has been confirmed to be missing 14-year-old Southern Wayne student Mainor Perez Velasquez.

Officials with the North Topsail Beach Police Department confirmed on Monday afternoon that the body found on Sunday was Velasquez.

Velasquez’s brother Yunior, 26, who was with Mainor when he went missing on July 4, told on Tuesday, “My family is devastated.”

A funeral service for Mainor has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday at Oak Forest Church of Christ.

A GoFundMe has been created to assist the Velasquez family.

Sunday marked the fourth day the North Topsail Beach Police Department and Fire Department, the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, and Camp Lejeune searched for Mainor Perez, who went missing around 11 a.m. on July 4 while fishing with Yunior in the New River Inlet.

“On Thursday, we were just enjoying the day on the Fourth of July,” Yunior said. “Most of the time we go to Wilmington, but we decided to come to a different area for a different experience, but it just went terribly wrong. The water wasn’t too deep, but someone explained to me later there are holes like 30 feet deep, and I think that’s what happened, (Mainor) slipped in and he couldn’t get out. The current was going in and not going out.”

North Topsail Beach Police Chief William Younginer described the area where Yunior and Mainor were fishing as similar in location to where a 17-year-old boy went missing last summer. Despite warning signs in the area in both English and Spanish, the location still presents a risk.

“There’s a shelf that you can walk out on, and it’s been dredged recently, but if you step off that shelf, you’re in 30 feet of water,” Chief Younginer said. “We ride by there pretty often and warn people fishing, and warn parents that there’s a drop off. It’s close to the same area where a 17-year-old who was using a cast net went missing last summer. He floated up on the third day.”

Yunior described his brother as someone who never turns down an opportunity to help those in need, and who already had his sights set on his future after high school.

“He used to help a lot, he never refused for any favor,” Yunior said. “You could ask him for anything, he would always help you out. He was that type of person. Most of our family, we are like that, if we can help, we help everybody. Me and my brother, we had the best relationship. I started a construction company about six months ago, and he was helping me with that. He was already planning on attending Wayne Community College and then transferring to UNC Chapel Hill.”