Family identifies 27-year-old man who vanished on Lake Lanier after 2 others drown

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — Hall County officials said crews are continuing efforts to find a 27-year-old man who went in the water and never resurfaced Saturday.

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According to the investigation, Leonardo Martinez, a boat mechanic, was swimming at Van Pugh Park when he disappeared.

Channel 2′s Matt Johnson was at the lake Monday, where Martinez’s family was hoping for a miracle. Johnson spoke to his cousin, Angelo Jaciofano, who was watching the search from the shoreline.

“Our heart is broken, you know,” Jaciofano said. “We think he’s swimming to a coast, but it’s huge. It’s massive land, you know.”

Martinez’s family said that while they appreciate the rescue efforts so far, they don’t want the search to end without more help.

“We need more. We need people coming with boats,” Jaciofano said.” If someone can help us with that, we would really appreciate that.”

This was not the only incident on Lake Lanier over the past week. Two other people drowned over the weekend.

On Thursday, Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials told Channel 2 Action News that they received word of a man who was shocked near Lanier Beach South Road in Forsyth County.

According to the investigation, a 24-year-old man, later identified as Thomas Milner, jumped off a dock into the lake and was shocked by electricity in the water.


The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said a family friend tried to get him out of the water using a ladder but was unsuccessful.

According to deputies, neighbors took over a boat to Thomas and another person jumped in the water to help him. That person described to officials a burning sensation he recognized as an electric shock.

He reportedly swam ashore, turned off the power box, and returned to the water, ultimately pulling Milner onto the dock.

Milner’s uncle tried performing life-saving measures until medical responders arrived. Milner was taken to Northside Forsyth Hospital, where he later died.

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Also on Saturday, authorities told Channel 2 Action News that 61-year-old Tracey Stewart was swimming near East Bank Park and never resurfaced.

Crews confirmed Stewart’s body was recovered in 46 feet of water with the help of sonar technology.

Authorities have not released the identity of the 27-year-old man who remains missing.

Crews confirmed the three incidents are unrelated. The investigation remains ongoing.