CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Deputies said a woman who texted friends on her way to dinner and then vanished has been found dead.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said Laura Ann Linden, 65, texted friends at 6 p.m. on Feb. 11 on her way to a party at a friend’s house in the subdivision next to the lake where she lived. She never made it to dinner.
Deputies got a call Tuesday night about a car that may have gone into Lake Arrowhead.
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Deputies did not find a vehicle but saw evidence near the edge of the water that indicated a car had possibly gone into the lake.
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A vehicle was recovered from the lake and Linden’s body was found inside the car.
Channel 2′s Tom Regan was at the scene on Channel 2 Action News at Noon Wednesday when the car was pulled from the lake.
A volunteer rescue and recovery diver, who joined in the search for the missing woman Monday, says the ending is tragic.
“Obviously, I was sad that she was found passed away. There was nothing anyone could do when ended up in the lake,” Jeremy Sides said.
Sides volunteers to help find cars and people in bodies of water. He posts search efforts on his YouTube channel. He says when people disappear in their cars, they are often located underwater.
He said he believes what happened could be an accident.
“She was new to the neighborhood. At night, in a storm she could have gotten turned around, driving straight into the water. From what I have seen there were no barricades or anything.” Sides said.
He also said his heart goes out to the woman’s family.
“I have been involved in three other missing person cases. It’s never easy, because this family has just found out their mother has passed away. There’s nothing I could do to make them feel any better, except be a shoulder to cry on,” Sides said.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office has asked the GBI Medical Examiner to perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
For now, the incident is being treated as an accident and there is no evidence of foul play.
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