Bodies of Girl, Two Men Recovered in East Alabama Lake

EDWARDSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Two men and a girl from Georgia drowned in Coleman Lake after one of the men apparently decided to swim across the lake with the child.

Cleburne County Coroner Rudy Rooks said a search team found the body of 4-year-old Alexis Hembree of Bremen, Georgia, on Wednesday night. He said searchers recovered the bodies of 24-year-old Marcus Allen Smith of Temple, Georgia, and 27-year-old Shannon Vanwinkle of Bremen, Georgia, Thursday.

Rooks said Smith was walking along a trail beside the lake with a group that included Vanwinkle, the child, and the child's mother Wednesday. Smith decided to swim across the lake, taking the child with him.

Cleburne County Sheriff Joe Jacks said Smith thought swimming would be faster than walking, but when he reached the middle of the lake, he started to struggle and called to Vanwinkle for help.

All three drowned in the middle of the lake.

The lake is located in the Talladega National Forest and remains closed to the public until further notice.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by MICHELLE Location: Georgia on Dec 4, 2011 at 11:51 PM
    I just wanted to know if anything new has come about or has anyone really looked into it? I don't understand how the 2 men just went under the water and never come back up having Alexis on his shoulders!!Jessica Hembree, the childs mother wasnt charged with anything because she wasnt the one that took her out in the water! Alexis was her responsibilty, she was her daughter...So she walks free and I guess she isn't responsile for the three kids she has now either! Those kids wont know there mother other than knowing she runs in and out of their lives. A couple weeks before Alexis drowned, she was getting use to water because she was always afraid of it, even taking a bath...Than she drowns and NOBODY can tell the truth about what went down that day! It wasn't an accident like yawl claim, something is wrong with the whole thing but just like Jessie said "IT WAS JUST A DROWNING...PERIOD! Maybe one day there will be justice for Alexis and hopefully the men also.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 29, 2007 at 09:02 PM
    this the officially the begging of summer and people are going to be hitting the waters.i would hope that you guys will take a moment and reflect back on 5 july when bradley whiteside lost his life and remind the people of the dangers of swimming.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 4, 2011 at 11:54 PM in reply to
      People that have kids should put life jackets are something on them before getting in the water but people that don't are stupid!
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