NORTHEAST FORSYTH — Authorities are scaling back the search for a young man who hasn’t been seen since a Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy broke up a party early Tuesday at Two Mile Creek Park.
Forsyth County Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers said searchers have scanned that entire cove of Lake Lanier with sonar, finding just one object that warranted further investigation.
Members of the dive team from nearby Hall County later determined it was a tree stump.
According to Shivers, there was nothing else visible on the sonar that even resembled a body, so they do not expect to do any more diving unless something else turns up.
“It’s far too big of an area to start diving randomly,” he said.
According to Shivers, the fire department was going to reduce its presence, but that the sheriff’s office and rangers with the state Department of Natural Resources would continue to scan the area with sonar.
Authorities haven’t released the name of the man they are looking for, but said his family hadn’t heard from him Tuesday and his whereabouts remained unknown.
Two other people who were believed to have been missing were found safe earlier in the day.
Shivers declined to say where the two young women were located, only that they “turned up elsewhere.”
The situation started to unfold about seven hours earlier, according to Shivers. A sheriff’s deputy patrolling the area encountered a group of at least 20 who were partying in a remote, unpaved section of the park, which is on a lake peninsula in northeast Forsyth.
The group, who authorities say ranged in age from teenagers to early 20s, scattered when the deputy arrived. The deputy was able to detain some of the party-goers, but heard others jump in the water.
A marine unit from the sheriff’s office, which happened to be in the area, conducted an initial search on — but not in — the water.
By mid-morning, at least three people’s whereabouts had not been determined. That was down from hours earlier, when five were believed to be missing.
According to Shivers, authorities had tried “multiple avenues” to contact the three, whose names have not been released.
“Our fear is they are in Lake Lanier,” he said at the time.
It is also possible that the people emerged from the water and left the park on foot or by a vehicle parked nearby, according to Shivers.
No arrests have been made in connection with the party, which reportedly involved alcohol, as authorities continue to sort out the situation.