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Teen who drowned in Utah reservoir remembered as 'family's rock'

Kevin Cooper.jpg
Posted at 11:41 AM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 13:41:08-04

IRON COUNTY, Utah — The Beryl family of a 14-year-old boy who died Saturday after drowning in an Iron County reservoir is sharing memories and remembering him as their "rock."

Kevin Cooper and his older brother were in kayaks Saturday on Newcastle Reservoir when Kevin went into water approximately 10-12 feet deep.

Cooper, who did not know how to swim and was not wearing a lifejacket, was underwater for about 10 minutes by the time a call to 911 was placed.

Following an all night search involving dive teams, drones and helicopters, Cooper's body was recovered around 4:45 a.m. Sunday morning.

In a GoFundMe post to raise money for expenses, Cooper's family painted a picture of an ambitious boy who loved hard work and family.

"Kevin was constantly a happy kid who thrived on making other people smile and inspiring others to excel at whatever life goals they had," the page reads.

The family said Kevin managed his own homeschooling, ran a small farm starting at the age of 7 and had recently published two books. But the GoFundMe said what Cooper did for the rest of his family really stood out

"At home, Kevin truly was his family’s rock. He was the son of a disabled Veteran, but also the only member of his family that’s not disabled. He was faithfully by his dad’s side when his dad needed help, while working and planning to support his autistic brother when they grew up."

The family is hoping to raise money for help in "picking up some of the bills for Kevin’s businesses, legal and accounting fees for shutting down the business, all while also facing typical end of life expenses and helping their surviving son through this tragedy."