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Body of missing teen recovered from Lake Lanier

POSTED: August 7, 2014 9:10 a.m.
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Gibbs

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NORTHEAST FORSYTH — The body of a missing teenager was recovered Thursday morning from Lake Lanier, according to authorities.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that it was Cody Daniel Gibbs, a 19-year-old who had been unaccounted for since a deputy broke up a lakeside party early Tuesday at Two Mile Creek Park.

Emergency and rescue personnel had spent much of the past couple of days looking for Gibbs, who they feared may have drowned in the lake while attempting to get away.

According to Doug Rainwater, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, an investigator found Gibbs’ body about 7:15 a.m. floating in the cove authorities had searched Wednesday.

It remains unclear where Gibbs was living at the time of the incident. Rainwater said authorities think he had been visiting his grandmother, who lives in the north Forsyth area, for a few days.

Gibbs apparently didn’t graduate from a Forsyth County high school. Jennifer Caracciolo, a spokeswoman for the local public school system, said records show he had attended Otwell Middle School for a while before moving away.

Forsyth Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers said Wednesday that investigators with the sheriff’s office had been talking with family and friends of Gibbs in hopes of “finding him safe and sound.”

No one had seen or heard from him since early Tuesday, when a sheriff’s deputy on patrol encountered a party in a remote, unpaved section of the park, which is on a peninsula in northeast Forsyth.

The group of about 20 party-goers ranging in age from late teens to early 20s scattered as he arrived.

The deputy was able to detain some of them, but heard others jump in the water. It wasn’t clear if they emerged later and left the park on foot or by a vehicle parked nearby.

By daylight, Gibbs was among three who remained unaccounted for. The other two, identified only as teen girls, were found safe elsewhere Tuesday afternoon.

“The search [of the lake] is because we have felt all along that there was a strong possibility that he was in the lake, unfortunately,” Shivers said Wednesday. “But we, of course, are continuing to hope that he is safe somewhere else.”

The search largely involved the use of sonar. Divers didn’t go in the water Wednesday because nothing turned up that warranted closer investigation.

The search effort involved the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and a dive team from neighboring Hall County.

With the search for Gibbs over, Rainwater said investigators will turn their efforts to the party.

“There were illegal narcotics, marijuana and alcohol at the party,” Rainwater said. “This was not just a group of teenagers sitting around a bon fire drinking Coca-Cola, this was a major party.”

He added that charges are likely to be filed after the investigation is complete.

 

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