Game Wardens from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement (DNR LE) Division recovered the body of Amelia Whitlock,9, of Jackson, in the Turtle Cove area of Lake Jackson in Jasper County at approximately 7:55 Monday evening.
The victim was riding in a vessel early Sunday morning with her father, Charles Whitlock, age 31, also of Jackson, when both were ejected from the vessel and into the lake. Mr. Whitlock was able to get to shore but Amelia did not resurface. The two had been fishing during the night.
The Game Wardens, along with deputies from the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) and the Butts County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), immediately began shoreline and water searches. Side scan and sector scan sonar and the Remote-Operated-Vehicle (ROV) were utilized throughout the two-day search. The DNR LE Aviation Unit flew the area several times and cadaver dogs were brought in Sunday afternoon as well. The recovery was made by the Game Wardens after the victim was located with sector scan sonar in 10 feet of water not far from the original incident scene.
The DNR LE Critical Incident Reconstruction Team (CIRT) is conducting a thorough investigation into the cause of the incident. That investigation is expected to take six to eight weeks. A final report will be available upon completion of the investigation.