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(NECN: Eileen Curran) - An 18 hour search for a missing swimmer at Hampton Beach, NH ends tragically. Tuesday afternoon, police pulled the body of Nayelin Encarnacion from water just yards off the beach.
The 12 year old girl from Lawrence, MA was on her first trip to Hampton Beach with her older brother and sister on Monday, Memorial Day. Her brother, Walter Maldonado, 20, says they were having fun in the water, when Nayelin called to him for help.
"I swam to her as fast as I could and tried to retrieve her and I had her within arm's grasp but she went down into the ocean," said Maldonado sobbing.
Nayelin's mother, Condita Jazmin, said she had a bad feeling about the trip when her daughter asked to go.
"I don't want she (sic) go to the beach yesterday," said Jazmin in broken English.
"It was a rip tide," said Maldonado. "It was pulling me from shore. I was on the verge of drowning as well, and I really tried to grab her, but I just couldn't."
A bystander was able to pull Maldonado from the water, but Nayelin was swept away. Rescue crews searched through the night on land, by sea and from the air, but there was no sign of the girl.
The beach opened for the day with police patrolling it end to end. About 1:00pm they found her. Bathers ran over and covered the body with towels. Police say she was found just yards from where she went under.
"She was not far from shore," said Hampton police chief Jamie Sullivan. "They were able to readily see her, (they) went into the water and retrieved her."
Her family says Nayelin knew how to swim and was actually a good swimmer, but she got caught in a strong current or rip current and did not know how to get out. A memorial has sprung up at the beach for Nayelin. At her home, friends and family stop by to comfort the grieving family.
Nayelin's sister Suleika Maldonado, 18, tries to console their mother.
"All I can do is hug her and tell her things are going to get better," said Suleika Maldonado.
Meanwhile, her brother Walter can only sob in his grief.
"It's been painful," he said. "I feel like a part of my heart left with her."