Photo Credit: TN
Georgia Officials Identify 20-Year-Old Drowning Victim At Lake Lanier
Officials from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources have identified the 20-year-old man who drowned while swimming at Lake Lanier over Memorial Day Weekend.
Jose Camarillo of Stone Mountain was recovered by Hall County Fire and Rescue, said department spokesman Mark McKinnon.
Game wardens reportedly located Camarillo’s body near the Margaritaville area on the lake using sonar equipment.
The drowning was the second incident near Margaritviile DNR officials responded to during the holiday weekend. The other incident involved a boat collision, as Forsyth County News reports. No one was seriously injured.
It’s been a pretty busy city for the Georgia DNR which says 25 people have died so far this year on the water.
The youngest victim this year is a five-year-old boy who drowned while playing on a float on Lake Allatoona. He also died over Memorial Day Weekend.
Lake Lanier: A Controversial Destination
Lake Lanier is a popular tourist destination attracting more than 7 million visitors each year.
Even with its popularity, many social media chimed in about how the lake is a no-go destination following news of the latest tragedy.
“Is there a graphic for Lake Lanier deaths vs the world cuz this seems like it’s outta hand,” said one Twitter user.
Y’all bold hanging out at Lake Lanier.— PlotxSchemes 🧜🏾♀️ (@HigherLoveee) June 1, 2022
“Lake Lanier is the biggest villain in Georgia,” said another.
The lake has sparked a lot of controversy stemming from some of the most horrific accidents. In 2019, 30-year-old Reginald Terrell Whitehead went under the water and never resurfaced after falling off of his jet ski.
Usher’s stepson, Kile Glover, was tragically killed on the lake when a boat collided with the floating inner tube he was in.
These are just a few incidents over the last few years that have some locals deeming it has haunted.
Why Do People Think Lake Lanier Is Haunted?
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the man-made lake in 1957 to manage navigation and flood control from the Chattahoochee River. The lake also supplies water and power to Atlanta residents.
Since its inception, more than 600 people have died in the water, as we previously reported.
But it’s not just the number of deaths that gives people an eerie feeling. It’s also the history as the lake was built on top of the historically Black town, Oscarville.
Oscarville was burnt down in 1912 and more than a thousand residents were forced to flee following the allegations of rape.
Rob Edwards was arrested in September 1912 along with Earnest Knox and Oscar Daniel, both teenagers, all accused of raping and murdering a young white woman named Mae Crow.
Edwards was dragged out of jail, beaten with a crowbar, and then lynched from a telephone pole.
Daniel and Knox went to trial and were found guilty on the same day. The boys were sentenced to death by hanging.
After the trials and executions, white men, known as Night Riders, forced Black families out of their homes by burning their land, churches, and schools.
Once families fled, the Black population remained low in Forsyth.
Once the government acquired the land to build Lake Lanier nearly 40 years later, the town was flooded, even with the cemeteries to build the dam.
Divers say there are still remnants of a community at the bottom of the lake, including headstones and graves. This has sparked some haunted encounters and theories.