The woman found dead Saturday in Lake Lanier has been identified as Lizeth Ruby Ruiz, who went missing May 18 at Lanier Point Park.
The Gainesville Police Department said in a news release that an autopsy found that Ruiz, a 23-year-old Gainesville woman, died of an accidental drowning.
“Again, this is not the outcome we had hoped for, but (we) hope this will bring closure and peace to the family,” Sgt. Kevin Holbrook wrote in an email. “This has been a difficult case for everyone involved; the family, friends, searchers, rescue personnel and the community. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family as they have since the original call for service.”
Ruiz was last seen at the park with friends before she was separated from the group, authorities previously said. Search efforts had been made in the water and woods at the 1579 Lee Waldrip Drive park, as well as investigation of Ruiz’s whereabouts after initial searches didn’t find her.
“The autopsy results indicate what investigators feared all along,” Holbrook wrote. “Although we did not have much information to go on, witness accounts led us to believe foul play was not suspected.”