A grieving couple in the United States is hoping for some closure after getting to see footage of their son “living life to the fullest” before he died in a drowning accident two years ago.
Sandy Springs, Georgia, resident Richard Ragland had drowned at a Tennessee waterfall in 2017, just a few days ahead of his 23rd birthday, WSB-TV reported.
“He was an amazing young man,” his mother, Robin McCrear, told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik. “Full of love, full of energy. He never met a stranger.”
Robin and her husband Gary McCrear had been longing to see the final moments of their son and find answers about the mishap with the help of videos he had taken with his GoPro camera.
Not long after Richard’s death, they received a letter from park rangers with an envelope “that was supposed to contain a thumb drive with some video of him taken by someone else.”
The couple’s hopes were dashed when they found out that someone had stolen the drive.
But, earlier this month, they were in for a pleasant surprise after a YouTube vlogger named Rich Aloha called to say he had found Richard’s GoPro camera while diving in the Forest Falls Recreation Area.
“I strongly believe that God led me to this GoPro because the only thing I saw was the end tip of the thumb screw and everything else was just covered in muck,” Aloha, who calls himself a treasure hunter, told WSB-TV.
He said the park rangers had told him about Ragland’s death.
“I was going through the footage and I said, ‘Oh my God, this is the guy,’” he said after finding out that the SD card inside the camera was working.
Aloha said he handed over the card to Ragland’s parents after tracking them down with the help of Internet.
“I’m glad I found it, personally, because I try to do the right thing and get the item back to the rightful owner,” he said.
“For him to go through his efforts to do his research, make numerous phone calls, he didn’t give up until he got in touch with us and that means the world to us,” Robin said.
“What we’ve seen so far is Rich being Rich, living life to the fullest,” the grieving mother was quoted as saying.
The McCrears are now planning to watch the last footage on their son’s Go Pro camera before the drowning so that “it can hopefully provide them with some answers. “