Boys’ bodies recovered at Woodward Reservoir north of Oakdale

The bodies of two 15-year-old boys from Oakland who drowned at Woodward Reservoir on Saturday were recovered Tuesday.

Crystal Pratt said the body of her son, Josiah Pratt-Rose, surfaced early Tuesday morning. The family has been staying at the reservoir as the search has continued.

“I woke up this morning and I heard someone say, ‘I see something in the water! I see something in the water!’ And we got up and ran to the water, and three people got life vests and jumped in the water and swam way far out there … and they started yelling, ‘Call 911, call 911!’ They said, ‘It’s Jo in the water, it’s Jo.’ 

Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputies responded to the cove on the east side of the reservoir and recovered Josiah’s body. His body was taken to the west side of the reservoir, where Pratt went to identify her son.

Then the search resumed for Josiah’s best friend, Jamari Wilson, whose body was found a few hours later. The two were seen holding onto each other, but they went under water after jumping off a boat to swim just before noon on Saturday. They were not wearing life jackets.

“So now we are back over here waiting for Jamari,” Pratt said Tuesday morning before Jamari’s body was discovered. “Josiah wouldn’t leave without him, and we are not leaving without him. We will be here until they get Jamari out.”

At about 2 p.m., Jamari’s body surfaced in the same area as Josiah’s, about 150 to 200 feet offshore.

Sgt. Anthony Bejaran said that, as with Josiah, family members saw Jamari’s body surface and alerted deputies who were searching from a boat nearby.

Crystal Pratt told The Bee on Sunday that the two boys were loyal friends and had grown even closer since losing another friend last year to gun violence in their hometown of Oakland.

Josiah had come to Stanislaus County with Jamari’s family on their first visit to Woodward.

“He’s still in my heart, my memories are still there. I can still see him smiling,” said Josiah’s grandmother Pamela Rose. “I got all them things, so when the youngsters say, ‘Granny, who you talking to?’ I’m going to say, ‘I’m talking to Josi.’

“God takes the good ones for himself,” she added.