FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.- They're the images Brenda Moure can't get out of her head.
“He was a good swimmer, Kevin was a very good swimmer,” Moure told 12 News from her east Valley home.
It was just last Sunday.
Her 18-year-old son, Kevin Anaya, was swimming in the waters of Lake Mary near Flagstaff as part of a family trip to celebrate his high school graduation.
Moure reached out to 12 News after seeing people speculating online that Kevin was with friends and had been drinking.
She says the 18-year-old didn’t drink and this was a family trip.
“Nobody thought that this was going to happen,” she said.
Moure says the family was hanging out near the boat dock when Kevin swam out to a buoy and asked his parents to take a picture.
But moments after snapping the images something went terribly wrong.
“When he was coming back he was like putting his hands up,” Moure said as she gestured to show how Kevin was struggling to stay afloat.
That’s when she says, she, her husband and nearby strangers immediately jumped in the water to try and get to him.
“Everybody started running to the water to go save him,” Moure said “but that's when Kevin went up and then went back down like something just sucked him down.”
Moure says those who jumped in the water to help soon felt it too.
“We couldn't get where he was at,” she said.
She describes it as a current, almost like a whirlpool, pulling them.
“It was impossible because something was sucking everybody down,” said Moure.
Kevin never resurfaced.
After an intense search, divers from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office later recovered Kevin’s body.
“No mother wants to hear their son is deceased that just broke my heart,” she told 12 News through tears.
Family members say Kevin, a popular student and athlete at Skyline High School, was determined to go to college and become a doctor.
That’s part of what also makes him a hero in the eyes of his two younger brothers.
“It's killing me inside,” Moure tearfully said, “I'm trying to be hard for them because they saw everything and they jumped in the water to try to save their brother.”
While nothing can take away the pain she’s feeling, Moure says the outpouring of support the family's received from the community shows them just how many people Kevin touched.
“It's amazing all these people you know just loving my son,” she said.
As of now, Kevin’s exact cause of death is unknown.
The Coconino County Sheriff's Office said deputies found no indication of drinking at the scene.
The family is waiting to get the results of an autopsy which may reveal more about Kevin’s final moments.
12 News reached out to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office to find out more about the swimming conditions and possible reasons for Kevin going under but did not receive a response.
The family is now trying to find out more information about what the current they say they felt could have been. They believe it's necessary in order to save other families from suffering the same tragedy.