Authorities say Ochlockonee drowning victim was a minor
May 22, 2019
THOMAS COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- Thomas County investigators are still searching for answers into the death of a teen contractor, who drowned in the Ochlockonee River Monday afternoon.
Tuesday morning, the sheriff's office released the victim's identity, saying he was 19. Within a few hours, authorities asked media to remove his name after speaking with the victim's family in Mexico.
The Thomas County Sheriff's Office confirmed with the family that the victim was under the age of 17. Family members told authorities that the teen's documented name and age were not accurate.
The teen was working with a crew hired to clear brush from a Georgia Power right-of-way, located a mile off of Georgia Highway 3.
Crew members that made the 911 call told TCSO the teen could not swim.
"Any time someone is working around water, especially if you can't swim while working around water, there needs to be some type of flotation device. The worst scenario can happen and we saw that happen yesterday," said Capt. Steve Jones with TCSO.
Lowndes County divers discovered the boy's body about 40 yards from where he was last seen. The weed eater he was using was found submerged underwater.
Investigators believe the teen was clearing the area alone, with no safety gear to prevent him from falling in or drowning.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the contractor," said Georgia Power in a statement.
Georgia Power say the victim was an employee of Rite-A-Way Mowers. We've reached out to them, and are waiting to hear back at this time.
May 21, 2019
THOMAS COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) – Authorities in Thomas County say the teen worker who was pulled from the Ochlockonee River after falling into the water was a minor.
At first, the sheriff's office released the victim's identity, saying he was 19. Within a few hours, authorities asked that media stop using his name because he was younger than 18.
Local law enforcement agencies began a search for the victim around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon. The Thomas County Sheriff's Office says the worker went into the water near Highway 3 north of Thomasville.
The Americus resident was part of a six-man team clearing brush with a Georgia Power right-of-way crew.
Authorities say other members of the crew saw the victim fall into the river and called 911. They told officers they all have a fear of water and didn't want to jump in, and they couldn't find him from the shore.
May 20, 2019
OCHLOCKNEE, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Lowndes County Dive Team has recovered the body of a man who fell into the Ochlockonee River Monday.
Officials say they found the man's body Monday evening after beginning a search around 2 p.m.
According to authorities, the man went into the water near Highway 3.
Law enforcement has not identified the man or determined how he fell into the water.
May 20, 2019
OCHLOCKNEE, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Thomas County Sheriff's Office says it is searching for a man who fell into the Ochlockonee River.
Officials say the man went into the water near Highway 3.
TCSO responded to the scene around 2 p.m. Monday.