A 2018 Chillicothe High School graduate with plans to study theater and drama at Missouri Western State University died while swimming in the Thompson River Saturday afternoon.

A 2018 Chillicothe High School graduate with plans to study theater and drama at Missouri Western State University died while swimming in the Thompson River Saturday afternoon. The body of Michael Dennis Cappell, 18, was recovered from the river at 6:25 p.m. Sunday evening. He was pronounced deceased by Livingston County Deputy Coroner Brooks Macoubrie, with the cause of death being ruled accidental drowning. Cappell was part of a small group of people who were playing in an area of the river that is commonly known as the 3rd Street bottoms, according to Sheriff Steve Cox. The area had a strong undertow current and a great deal of brush, concrete slabs and old boxcars from the railroad, the sheriff said. He stated that it is a dangerous area for even experienced divers. Cappell and his brother, Matthew Thomas Cappell, graduated from CHS on May 13. Michael was active in the Choraliers vocal group while in high school. Funeral arrangements are pending under the direction of Thomas Funeral Home, Centerville, Iowa. A candlelight moment of silence in remembrance of Cappell’s life will take place at 7 p.m. tonight in the parking lot of Chillicothe High School. “This grievance process is difficult for everyone but one thing that is certain, Michael lived his life to the fullest and I know he would want you all to do the same,” stated Lani Guiter, in a message posted on the Constitution-Tribune’s Facebook page. Candles will be provided by the family. The family asks for friends to bring a printed picture of themselves with Michael for the family to keep and display at his funeral. A photo box will be provided. “These past few days have been a mixture of emotions,” Guiter’s message stated. “The amount of love and support we have received from the Chillicothe community has been a blessing. On behalf of my family and I, we want to thank all of the search and rescue teams, the dive teams, the cadaver dogs, and everyone who was involved with Michael’s search. Because of you we now have a sense of closure in this rough time. Thank you.”

View obituary here.