Berrien County man drowns in Alapaha River - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Berrien County man drowns in Alapaha River

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May 31, 2008

Berrien County--A popular spot for south Georgians was the scene of tragedy today as a man's body was found floating in the Alapaha River.

This death adds to a number of drowning in the state this month alone.

Saturday morning Berrien and Atkinson County authorities, along with the Georgia State Patrol and the Willacoochee Police, showed up at the scene where 44-year-old Ricky Reece was found after an apparent drowning.

Four individuals including Reece and his son were out having a good time near the river before he went missing and things turned tragic.

Georgia Highway 135 between the Atkinson and Berrien County line is a popular spot for locals to cool off from the hot summer sun.

But Friday was the last day that 44-year-old Ricky Reece stepped foot in these waters.

"Apparently he was out here with his friends, they were out just enjoying the weekend here on the river," said Lt. Larry Tabor, Berrien County Sheriff's Office.

A tragic weekend for family and friends who found his body, after he apparently drowned in the Alapaha River.

"We responded after they had called back and advised us they had found the body."

Nine to ten hours after Reese was discovered missing his body was found floating in this part of the river.

Officers said the group was drinking the night before Reece went missing.

and apparently after they've been drinking the enjoyed riding their four wheelers and go carts, and later on into the night they got into the river to swim.

"I'm about 5' 7" to 5' 9" somewhere around there and I can't touch the bottom over there it's pretty deep,"said Allen Walker, Berrien County.

Reece's 19-year-old son was also out Friday night but said everyone was out of the water when he left the area.

Friends called Reece's mother and his son before they discovered his body Saturday morning.

"They waited until early this morning and called his parents house and she advised them that he wasn't there so he tried to make contact with his son and couldn't, they looked and checked the area again around the swim area that they were swimming in, and an hour later after they were looking they saw the body," said Lt. Larry Tabor.

Allen Walker Frequents the area with his family and says it's not always safe.

"During about the daytime it's OK you know but later on when they get on the four wheelers you know some people act crazy, and it's kind of dangerous out here sometimes," said Walker.

Lieutenant Tabor told me this afternoon they were advised by one of the other men who were out with Reese that he did not know how to swim. The case is still under investigation.

As of now police believe the drowning to be accidental, no charges have been filed.


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