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Body found in Lake Lanier

Authorities: Could be that of missing fisherman

POSTED: March 17, 2013 6:05 p.m.
 

A body found floating Sunday in a Lake Lanier cove could be that of a fisherman who disappeared last month, authorities said.

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, the body turned up off the shore of Mary Alice Park, east of Cumming.

The state Department of Natural Resources is handling the investigation.

According to the sheriff’s office, the body has been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab.

Although a positive identification has not been made, authorities suspect the body is that of 47-year-old George "Marty" Counts of Tucker.

Tucker has not been seen since Feb. 11, when he went fishing on Lanier. His empty boat was found that night near Little Ridge Park.

For the next five days, authorities conducted searches involving helicopters, dive teams and sonar scans.

Officials have said Counts frequented Lanier for fishing, sometimes staying out all night. He also had a house on the lake.

His 15-foot boat was found about 10 p.m. Feb. 11 going in circles, out of gas and with his cell phone on board just off the shore of the park in east Forsyth, not far from Buford Dam.

Visibility on boats is limited at night, and authorities said it was possible Counts could have struck something.

Search teams found his shoes, fishing rod and hat during the effort, which started once the boat was discovered and lasted throughout the daylight each weekday.

Stormy, windy and cold weather conditions hampered the abilities of the helicopters and dive team.

The side scan sonar picked up several images on the bottom of the deep lake, which buried existing land when created in the 1950s.

The sheriff's office, Forsyth County Fire Department dive team, Dawson County K9 search and rescue and a DNR air unit, were among those involved in the five-day search last month.

 

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