TeNiya Jones, a student at the University of Kentucky, drowned Saturday night while taking a late-night swim with friends during a weekend trip to Israel.
TeNiya was taking a break from her exchange program in Jordan when the accident occurred.
She had texted her mother that she was “in for the night” at 10:30 p.m., according to the News-Press newspaper. However, Tosha Thomas-Mora received a call from an official with the exchange program eight hours later that indicated her daughter was missing.
Bill Bull of the Council On International Educational Exchange told Thomas-Mora that Jones had gone for a “midnight swim” in the Mediterranean Sea in Tel Aviv with two others from the program, according to the News-Press.
One of the swimmers said they got caught up in a strong current and were pulled out to sea, according to a University of Kentucky press release. Two of the students were able to make it back to shore, but Jones was not.
Her body was found Monday morning, family members told the News-Press.
“That’s not like her,” cousin Jean Davis told the News-Press before the body was found. “She wouldn’t take a risk like that.”
The 19-year-old Jones, who was from Florida, was scheduled to return to the U.S. next week. She minored in Islamic studies, which is why she traveled to Amman, according to the newspaper.
Her grades had helped her garner a spot in the premedical program at Kentucky.
Thomas-Mora had lost her son, 22-year-old Samuel Jones Jr., in a fatal shooting in December, according to the paper.