Boy drowns at Lake Hickory

A cookout on Lake Hickory turned tragic Saturday when a five-year-old boy drowned at Dixie Boat Club.

Cody Ray Johnson, 5, was found at the bottom of Lake Hickory after he apparently wandered away from a cookout his mother and siblings attended Saturday evening, said Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid.

"They got ready to eat around 8:30 when they realized they couldn't find Cody," Reid said adding that nearly 20 people at the cookout began searching the lake access off 54th Avenue NE near Sulphur Springs Road. "In five or 10 minutes they found him at the bottom of the lake in shallow water."

The boy was pulled from the water and CPR was administered until EMS arrived.

He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"They didn't know he was near the water," Reid said, adding the boy wandered away from the group of people at the cookout to an area of the lake cordoned off for swimming.

Reid said the boy was not wearing a flotation device and that he did not know how to swim.

To read more of this story, pick up the weekend print edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.