A college athlete formerly from Hyde Park Academy drowned while staying at a Florida resort with her track teammates from Central State University.
Jasmine Crenshaw, 22, was last seen Saturday, swimming with teammates in a lake, her mother, Jackie Crenshaw, said. The team was staying at Summer Bay Resort in Clermont, according to the website of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. The university’s men's and women's track teams competed in dual meets in Florida Friday and Saturday.
Divers found Crenshaw's body Sunday morning about 15 feet from shore. She was wearing a bathing suit and goggles.
Jackie Crenshaw questioned how her daughter went missing while with her teammates.
"What I didn’t understand was how 30 students could be out in the water and no one noticed Jasmine was not there," she said.
Jackie Crenshaw received a call from one of her daughter's coaches Saturday night. The coach told her "there had been an accident and all the kids had come out but Jasmine had not," Crenshaw said.
The coach called Crenshaw later that night and told her that, despite searches, Jasmine had not yet been found.
"He broke down and started crying and told me they hadn't found her," Crenshaw said.
The Lake County (Fla.) medical examiner's office performed an autopsy this morning, according to Lt. John Herrell, spokesman for the Lake County Sheriff's Office, and ruled the death an accidental drowning.
"We have nothing to suggest that foul play was involved," Herrell said.
The sheriff's office first learned Crenshaw had gone missing from Summer Bay Resort about 9 p.m. Saturday. Witnesses at the scene told deputies that Crenshaw had last been seen in or around the lake about 7:30 p.m., Herrell said.
"No one had seen her leave with anyone," Herrell said. "It was a busy place at the time."
The area around the lake was crowded with resort guests, including Crenshaw's teammates. People were coming and going frequently, which may have led some to believe Crenshaw had left the area, Herrell said.
"I’m not sure when it clicked in someone's head that they needed to start looking for her," Herrell said.
The sheriff's office sent a dive team to the resort early Sunday morning. At that point, officials still were hoping Crenshaw had walked away from the area, Herrell said.
Divers found Crenshaw's body about 15 feet from shore, in water that was about 8 feet deep, Herrell said.
Two employees with Summer Bay Resorts said employees were told not to answer any questions regarding the drowning.
Jasmine Crenshaw was the first in her family to go to college, Crenshaw said. An athlete since 7th grade, Jasmine attended high school at Hyde Park Academy, where she played basketball and track. As a senior, she qualified for the Class AA state track meet in the 800 meters.
"She really loved sports," Jackie Crenshaw said. "I was very proud of her."
Jasmine received a sports scholarship and attended Lewis University, where she ran middle distances for a year before transferring to Central State, Crenshaw said. Jasmine was majoring in criminal justice and wanted to be a police officer.
Crenshaw and Jasmine were close, talking on the phone "three or four times a day," Crenshaw said. Jasmine would call her mother in the mornings, before track practice, as she was walking to her room after practice and "always before she'd go to bed at night."
Jasmine was a popular student with a lot of friends, Crenshaw said.
"She was just an outspoken, outgoing person," Crenshaw said. "It’s just a shock to all of us."
Jasmine had one sister and four brothers.
The Central State University women's and men's track teams returned to campus by bus this afternoon, said Fran Robinson, a spokeswoman for the university. Dozens of faculty and staff members and students were waiting for the bus to arrive because "the university has a very strong family environment," Robinson said.
"As they exited the bus, they were greeted literally with open arms," Robinson said. "It was a very touching moment."
The teams were led to the campus track by coaches. A student led the group in prayer, and the teams took a lap around the track in honor of Jasmine. Those who finished the lap first cheered the others on, Robinson said.
"It was beautiful," Robinson said. "It was emotional because you think to yourself, 'You left with someone, and you came back without them.' "
Central State University, which has approximately 2,400 students, is on spring break this week, and classes will resume Monday, March 28. A memorial service for Jasmine will be at 7 p.m. that day in the Paul Robeson Cultural and Performing Arts Center.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun