Knoxville (WVLT) - The search for the victim was at peak hours of the day when families with children were playing at the cove, but the Sheriff’s Department never closed the park.
Volunteer TV’s Stacy McCloud investigates why, and what parents say, should have happened.
Sunshine and lots of splashing.
Beside some summer fun, it's calm at the cove.
But it was a much different scene Wednesday. Crime tape surrounded the family sun spot, while divers searched for a possible drowning victim.
"There are just some things as a child you don’t need to see and be a witness to,” as long as no one was in danger, Kristi Teeter doesn't mind that the park stayed open.
She says in this case, she would have taken her kids home, but believes that's a judgment parents could make on their own. "If too many people had concern they could either leave or ask the concern of the police department."
Rick Denton is from sunny California. "This is about it, it's got sand."
Since this is as close to home he's going to get, he's glad he and his family discovered this peaceful spot, but also grateful they weren't here Wednesday.
"I don't know all the details, but they probably should have closed,” Denton says.
The Sheriff’s Department says the reason why is simple. They were going totally on assumption. There had been no witnesses so they had no reason to believe there was actually a body in the water.
They say they searched the roped off area first because of high traffic. Once they discovered there was no body, they saw no reason to close the park.
Either way, both families say they plan to visit over and over again!
"We're here today and we're going to stay,” Denton says. “It's not like it creeps us out or anything."
Again, the sheriffs department says they were searching that specific area of the Cove with no certainty there was even a body there and had no reason to close the park.