The body of 20-year-old Dorian Pinson, who had been missing since going under and not resurfacing in Lake Lanier on April 18, was recovered Wednesday, July 14, said DNR public affairs officer Mark McKinnon in an emailed statement.
“At approximately 11:20 a.m., DNR game wardens located Pinson with sector scan sonar in 117 feet of water and at 12:40 p.m., Bruce’s Legacy was able to recover the body with a Remote-Operated-Vehicle (ROV), with assistance from Hall County deputies and the Corps of Engineers,” McKinnon wrote.
Bruce’s Legacy is a private company “that specializes in locating and recovering hard-to-find drowning victims across the nation,” McKinnon wrote.
Pinson, of Greenville, South Carolina, was one of three people who went into the water from a pontoon boat but couldn’t return due to wind, McKinnon said in April. The other two people were rescued.
Authorities searched for a week in April in a section of Lake Lanier that is 130 feet deep trying to find Pinson.
“Conditions were difficult a couple of days with cool temperatures and high winds,” McKinnon wrote in an email Friday, April 23. “The water in the primary search area is approximately 130 feet deep with 80-foot standing timber on the bottom.”
Department of Natural Resources game wardens, Hall County Sheriff’s Office deputies, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials assisted in the recovery Wednesday.
Pinson’s body was sent to the GBI crime lab, according to McKinnon, and the incident is still under investigation.
Derrek Booth, public information officer for the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, said via email that the sheriff’s office will assist in the death investigation “to ensure the facts of the incident are consistent with any forthcoming autopsy results.”
This article originally published in our sister paper the Gainesville Times.