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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