Search continues for S.C. man who went missing on Lake Murray

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Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 9:16 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - The search continues for a Columbia man who went missing at Lake Murray on Sunday.

Reports say that on July 31, a group of friends on a pontoon boat went out on the lake.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) said the missing person went into the water near Acapulco Island and Dreher Island State Park and did not resurface.

Friends and family say the victim is 31-year-old Terrance Butler, an employee with the Department of Juvenile Justice, Corporal in the National Guard and father of a 4-year-old girl.

Terrance Butler, 31.
Terrance Butler, 31.(WIS)

“We were having such an amazing time on July 31… and then for a freak accident like this to occur is tragic. It’s overwhelming. I feel lost,” said Lakesa McGraw, Butler’s girlfriend of five years.

McGraw says Butler jumped from the pontoon boat during her sister’s birthday party after 4 p.m., while out on the water.

“He didn’t have on his life jacket, and he didn’t come back up. And so, the rest of the day is like a blur to me,” she said.

The SCDNR dive team and aviation unit say they are conducting an extensive search, but recognize the area is ‘quite large.’ Field officers and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department are also assisting.

Butler’s friend Jerome reached out to News 12 saying that Butler’s family is from the Edgefield County area.

Friends and family have vowed to return to Dreher Island every day until he is found.

Copyright 2022 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved. WIS contributed to this report.