Georgia Man Found Dead in Chattahoochee

Authorities say 33-year-old Scott Leonard Rathel of Cairo had been missing since Saturday.

According to his roommates, Rathel went for a swim in the river and never resurfaced.

"It is very important to know that alcohol and swimming do not mix," says Investigator Tim Hardrick, Early County Sheriff's Office.

According to the roommate and the other adults, they had all been drinking.

Deputies say Rathel's roommates called authorities Saturday night after he went swimming and never came back to shore at the Confederate naval yard in Early County.

"We spoke with his roommate and a couple of other adults said that he went missing. Initial investigations had us search a certain area and we found out the area they were swimming out of."

Rathel's two brothers and several other family members drove across Georgia to get to the scene and identify his body.

The Early County Sheriff's Office searched for Rathel in the water for several days and eventually called the Houston County rescue team for help.

"We are all volunteers; no one is paid in our unit. To go out and assist other families and rescue squads is what we are here for and even though the work is sad, often times the reward for bringing closure to the families is what we are here for," said Wayne McKinnon, Houston County Rescue Team.

The investigation of this incident is ongoing.

Rathel's body is being shipped to Atlanta where an autopsy will be performed.

Authorities hope that will confirm the cause of death which is at this time is drowning.


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  • by brandy Location: cairo on May 13, 2010 at 10:57 AM
    Scott was one of the most loveing and cearing people in the world!!!!! he is love and miss so much !!!people that are talking thing that they don't know nothing about .im praying for Scotts family that the truth will come out soon .so if anyone knows any thing please call the sherriff's department!!!!scott is loved and will be missed!!!!!!
  • by Scott's mother, Bridgett Bryant Location: Cairo on May 12, 2010 at 07:18 PM
    Scott was from Cairo and no where else. Anyone following this story, needs to stop all of the accusations. And only the truth should be told. They took the last chance for me to see my son. I know he was dead, but that would have helped me, because that would have let me tell him for the final time that I love him. They also lied for so long that I didn't get a chance to hug or kiss my baby good-bye. I love him and I wouldn't want anyone to have to go through what I have been going through. It's one thing to lose someone to illness, car accidents, or something that can't be changed. But losing my baby the way I did is heartbreaking and leaving me with so many unanswered questions. PLEASE! Anyone with the TRUTH Call the sherriff's department so the police can get to the truth. To all the mother's out there tell your babies every chance you get just how much you love and care for them. God bless those who come forth with the truth. Thanks for the prayers.
  • by Dana Location: Kansas on May 12, 2010 at 10:33 AM
    In time the truth will come out. As far as anyone who knew Scott knows that he had a BIG HEART. Scott will never be forgotten, always missed, and forever loved by his family and friends that truly knew him.
  • by rathel family Location: cairo on May 12, 2010 at 09:20 AM
    let not forget jamie is on probation for a meth charge and scott on prole for a cocaine charge and they are being held for that to on so why all the need for the finger pointing they even had the kids lye for them why bring your kids in it and make it out like she loved her kids and her mom if she loved anybody she would not put her family in all of this mess and told the truth
  • by PAMELA RATHEL Location: CAIRO on May 11, 2010 at 04:44 PM
    O.K. TO YOU MS. CONCERNED OR MR. YOU DON'T KNOW THE FIRST THING ABOUT SCOTT HE HAS NOT BEEN BANDED FROM NO PATULA DRUG SQUAD WHERE EVER THE HECK THAT IS AND HE DIDN'T HAVE SEVERAL WARRANTS HE HAD ONE AND WHAT YOU TRING TO SAY THEY MURDERED HIM BECAUSE HE WAS A SEX OFFENDER YOU SHOULD KNOW HIS STORY OR MATTER OF FACT TALK TO THE GIRL HE WENT TO JAIL FOR 1 YEAR FOR IT WAS STATUTORY RAPE NO FORCE!!!!!!! GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT MY BROTHER IN LAW WAS GOOD PERSON NOT WHAT YOU ARE MAKING HIM OUT TO BE HE ISN'T NO PEDAFILE YOU HAVE A LOT OF NERVE IS ALL I CAN SAY AND I HOPE IT DON'T COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU
  • by RATHELFAMILY on May 11, 2010 at 04:17 PM
    I DONT SEE THE NEED FOR ALL THE FINGER POINTING BUT PAGIE KNOW THE TRUTH THEY WAS AT HER HOUSE SATURDAY THERE MORE COMING OUT DAY BY DAY THE POLICE IS DOING ALL THEY CAN AND IT NOT OVER WITH BY A LONG SHOT IF IT WAS NOT A BIG DILL THE POLICE WOULD NOT STILL BE INVESTIGING IT BUT THEY ARE THEY KNOW JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE SO NO WENT DONT FEEL SORRY FOR JAMIE BUT WE DO FOR THE KIDS FOR SEEING ALL THEY HAD TO OUR HEARTS GOES OUT TO THE KIDS AND FOR THE REST OF THEM WE JUST WANT JUSTICE AND THAT WILL BE OUR GOAL IN LIFE
  • by Rathel's Baby Sister Location: Cairo on May 11, 2010 at 02:40 PM
    The truth will come out eventually no matter what. I know what happened to my brother was no accident. They lied for a reason. My brother was not perfect. But who is No one no matter the circumstance deserves what they did to him. To concerned you cannot imagine what my mom is going through until you go through it yourself. I do pray for those involved with the death of my brother, but I also pray for justice. My family deserves answers as well as the truth, and if you don't agree I feel sorry for you. If the tables were turned I would want justice for you and your family. My brother would have done anything to help anyone, even with his background. If you don't know the whole truth you shouldn't mention it. To anyone with more information I pray that you will do the right thing and come forward and tell everything you know. The people involved took a lot from us but the one thing they can't take is our love for one another. Scott we love you.
  • by concerned on May 10, 2010 at 03:02 PM
    No one has brought up the fact that Scott Rathel is also a registered sex offender in the state of georgia or that he has a Newton Georgia address listed as his home address. Maybe everyone should clean up around their own door steps before trying to take on everyone else.
  • by concerned on May 9, 2010 at 04:57 PM
    No one told the fact that Scott was banded from the Pataula Drug District or that he had several out standing warrents out on him. Or the fact that he was living with his boyfriend at the Naval Yard. There were three adults arrested Scott's boyfriend Ricky, Jamie and her boyfriend Scott.This was a tragic accident and that is all.They were wrong for being scared and lying. I know Jamie and she might not be a angel but there are alot worst in Southwest Georgia. So before anyone starts throwing stones they don't need to be living in glass houses. This takes her away from her kids and her mother that loves her very much! Because Jamie was raised to always tell the truth and yes I agree that all drugs will do this to a person. So maybe we need to work on getting the drug dealers out of here so we can have our children and friends back. I do pray for Scott's mother I can only imagine what it is like to lose a child. We will pray for you. And also these three young adults need our prayers.
  • by eric on May 3, 2010 at 02:24 PM
    when will the truth come out there so much more that needs to be said but wtvy keep blocking what people sending in so is this news or just what wtvy want u to know all we can do is pray for scott it's like wtvy is keeping the early county sheriff out of trouble because they have not done all they can for scott so keep this in mind when you vote for your next sheriff the one you got now is not there to serve and protect you
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