Manager of 16-year-old victim in canoe accident speaks


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Scott Stegmaier said he had recently promoted 16-year-old Riley Teixeira. The teenager’s body was recovered Monday afternoon in the St. Johns River.

FRUIT COVE, Fla — The Julington Creek Metro Diner prides itself in the family atmosphere it has created for its customers and employees. 

When a piece of that foundation breaks off it takes a toll. It’s why Monday was such a hard day for the restaurant after the body of 16-year-old employee, Riley Teixeira, was recovered in the St. Johns River.

RELATED: Officials find body of 16-year-old boy who fell out of canoe into St. Johns River

“We’re normally running around here with smiles on our faces, it’s a little tough to bring that out, but the show must go on,” Metro Diner manager Scott Stagmaier said. 

Teixeira and two other people fell into the water near Julington Creek after their canoe overturned on Sunday night. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, St. Johns County Sherriff’s Office and other agencies spent almost 18 hours looking for Teixeira. 

“Our hearts go out to his family, we’ll do the best we can to support them,” Stagmaier added. “His dad was so caring to give me a call and let me know that Riley wasn’t going to come in for his shift tonight. We’re very worried about them.” 

The 16-year-old had only worked at the restaurant for a little over two months, but had recently earned a promotion. 

“His positive attribute to every task he took was infectious,” Stagmaier remembered. “He quickly became a part of the family.”

RELATED: 43-year-old swimmer from Georgia dies in Jacksonville Beach

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