Students return from school trip to Belize where classmate died

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Classmates of a North Cobb High School student who died in Belize during a school trip are back in the metro area.

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The students returned during the overnight hours to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. They arrived home with heavy hearts as they mourn the loss of freshman Tomari Jackson.

District spokeswoman Lauretta Hannon said in a statement that 32 students and six chaperones were visiting the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and Jackson was reported missing Saturday while the group was in shallow water near a river bank after a hike.

Jackson was found dead after a search and additional details on his cause of death weren't immediately available.

District officials said they worked with the U.S. Embassy to coordinate travel arrangements for the group's return to Atlanta. Counselors will be at the school when students return from winter break Feb. 22.

Superintendent Chris Ragsdale says officials' top priority is supporting Jackson's family, students and staff.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.