Sailor's grieving parents long for answers

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by Jonathan Costen, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on July 8, 2013 at 11:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 9 at 5:55 AM

NORFOLK - The parents of a sailor who drowned Saturday are looking for answers about how and why their son died.

Seaman Rolando Acosta, 21, was found dead after apparently falling overboard from the submarine USS Boise Saturday afternoon at Naval Station Norfolk.

Navy divers recovered Acosta's body shortly before noon on Saturday.

"They said he fell. We got the result from the autopsy earlier and they said the result of his death was drowning,”  his step-father Edward Garcia told 13News Now.

Rolando’s mother, Amy Acosta, described living through every military mom's nightmare when the "knock at the door" came and Navy representatives told her of her son’s death.

"They were like, 'We need to speak to Amy Acosta,'  I'm like 'It's me,' she recalls.

Acosta said she was told by Navy officials, "Well it's sad to say there has been an accident and Rolando was involved in it and he didn't make it, he drowned."

"So I was like 'why, what happened what happened?' They didn't have many answers for me, they're like, that's all we know,” said Acosta.

His mother and step-father moved from a town near Lubbock, Texas to Norfolk to be with their son.

"I would always just see him sitting there and I would just look at him and say I couldn't believe how much he had done in 21 years of his life. I mean he accomplished a lot and he was our superstar for our family. He made our whole family proud," his mother says.

The young sailor’s friend, Darren Nguyen, also shared his memories with 13 News Now, describing Acosta as an easy-going person.

"He was one of those dudes, you can be laugh and be genuine , a genuinely good person...that's what made him different, popular with all the friends,” Nguyen says.

Acosta's parents are making burial arrangements in Texas and say they also plan to return to Texas to live.

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