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Deputies: 8-year-old girl drowned in lake during camp trip with grandmother

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CLE ELUM — Sheriff’s office dive teams recovered the body of a 8-year-old girl from a lake Tuesday, after she drowned during a camping trip with her grandmother.

According to the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, 8-year-old Christine Bethay of Yakima was camping with her grandmother in the Morgan Creek area of Lake Cle Elum.

Around 5 p.m. Monday, Bethay was reporting missing, having last been seen swimming in a small cove at the mouth of Morgan Creek with other children and adults. Deputies were not sure how long Bethay was out of sight before others reported her gone, as some children thought they spotted her walking back to the camp area.

Kittitas County Search and Rescue teams were called to the area Monday night, but the search was suspended around midnight. Deputies resumed the search Tuesday morning, and the girl’s body was recovered about 20 feet from shore in six-feet of water.

Her family was notified of her death a short time later.

Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana called the death a tragedy.

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