For months, even his parents didn't know how Jack Elliott had died. Before and after his body was found 100 feet deep in Texas' Lake Travis near Austin, they heard multiple stories from the 11 teenagers who'd been boating with the 19-year-old Texas Christian University student after sunset: that he'd disappeared after doing a backflip off the boat, that he'd fallen overboard while vomiting. It would take authorities more than two years to fully understand that Oct. 14, 2019, death and the alleged cover-up that formed within minutes. As the Orange Country Register reports, Elliott didn't fall from the boat—he was pushed.
He'd been at the front of the 22-foot boat with Delaney Brennan, a girl with whom he'd had a flirty relationship, when she gave him a "playful" shove, Elle Weber said in a sworn statement in late 2020. She said she'd seen it happen from the driver's seat with the boat on cruise control. It was then 8:27pm, well after sunset, and the group had been on the water for hours, nearly all of them drinking. When they heard the boat make a noise, as if it had run over something, chaos erupted. But one teen said the group searched for Elliott for just five minutes before heading for shore and calling 911. They dumped their alcohol along the way, per the Register.
Allegedly, they were also forming a cover-up. They lied to police when they said the lone sober teen had been driving the boat. They lied about what Elliott had been doing. Two days later, several of them lied directly to Elliott's parents, telling them they didn't know what had happened to their son. According to a December 2019 report from Texas Parks and Wildlife, Elliott was "struck by the propeller multiple times and was killed." Five teens are now facing charges, including perjury. Brennan and Carson Neel, whose father owns the boat, each face up to 10 years in prison on charges of tampering with evidence. Delaney is accused of aiding in the deletion of a cellphone video. Carson is accused of dumping the alcohol, per Fox News. (Read more fatal accident stories.)