Human Interest Aspiring Model, 16, Drowns in Mo. River: 'She Was a Rock Star,' Says Dad Kara Wrice had reportedly appeared in an ad campaign for Famous Footwear By Rachel DeSantis Rachel DeSantis Instagram Twitter Rachel DeSantis is a writer/reporter covering music at PEOPLE. She has held various roles since joining the brand in 2019, and was previously a member of the human interest team. As a music writer, Rachel interviews everyone from rock-and-roll legends to up-and-coming stars for magazine feature stories and digital news stories. Rachel is based in New York City, and previously worked as an entertainment reporter at the New York Daily News after getting her start as an Entertainment Weekly intern. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. People Editorial Guidelines Published on July 8, 2021 12:21 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Kara Wrice. Photo: GoFundMe A 16-year-old Missouri high school student with dreams of pursuing a modeling career in New York City drowned at a local park on Friday, according to a GoFundMe and local reports. Kara Wrice, a rising junior at Webster Groves High School, died on Friday at Castlewood State Park in Ballwin. "She is so loved by everyone who knows her and could make absolutely anyone smile," a friend wrote on a GoFundMe page raising money for a scholarship fund in her honor. "She is such an amazing kindhearted person who deserves the world. It's so heartbreaking to see someone so incredible have their life cut so short." Kara's father Karl Wrice told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his daughter had been drinking at the park with a friend when she went under in the Meramec River and did not resurface. "She was a straight-A student. She was also a teenager who made a very not-good decision," he said. "She had got my personality; she was a rock star. She didn't have an enemy — very extroverted. She left a large footprint — many people have reached out to me since." RELATED VIDEO: N.Y. Newlyweds Drown on Island Honeymoon 4 Days After Wedding: 'It Does Not Feel Real' An incident report posted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol said Kara was swimming in the river when she was caught in a current and brought under the surface. Kara was embracing a career as a model, and signed to the St. Louis-based agency Mother Model Management after they discovered her at a concert in 2018, according to a Facebook tribute shared by the agency. She'd reportedly been featured in a Famous Footwear ad campaign. "She instantly became an integral part of our Mother Model family. The other girls adored her and they are crushed by this tragic loss," the post said. "We are heartbroken. Devastated. She was cherished... We KNEW she was destined for great things, inside and outside of the modeling world." Former Vanderbilt Track Star Drowns Alongside Sister in Boating Accident: 'Two Beautiful Girls' Mary Clarke, co-owner of Mother Model Management, told CBS affiliate KMOV that Kara had an "effervescent quality about her," and was often the one to welcome new faces and make them feel comfortable. "We knew that by next summer, we'd be launching her into the fashion world at a higher level, but that doesn't get to happen now," Clarke said. In addition to modeling, Kara also played volleyball at school and on a local club team, and was a lifeguard, according to the Post-Dispatch.