Girl, 7, found at bottom of lake on Fort Gordon

Sunday, April 29, 2012 10:07 PM
Last updated Monday, April 30, 2012 7:26 AM
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The body of a 7-year-old girl was found at the bottom of a Fort Gordon lake Sunday afternoon after a search involving more than a hundred volunteers and multiple rescue agencies.

Hannah Ross  Fort Gordon
Fort Gordon
Hannah Ross

Hannah Ross, whom family members said was autistic, had left her house upset about 6:40 p.m. Saturday. Buz Yarnell, a Fort Gordon public affairs spokesman, said when Ross was distressed, she had to touch water, which they believe led to her death.

The child and her family were new to the post, Yarnell said, having been at Fort Gordon about a week. He could not identify the child’s parents, but said they had come from California.

Ross had left her house without shoes Saturday, leading authorities to assume she had not gone far. When they had searched for almost an hour without finding her, Fort Gordon asked others for help.

Richmond and Columbia county sheriff’s K9 units and deputies searched the woods all night, Yarnell said. The Georgia State Patrol brought in a helicopter that did frequent fly-overs.

She was recovered by a dive team about 3:15 p.m. at the bottom of Soil Erosion Lake behind her home on Cypress Circle on base, he said.

Some Fort Gordon residents will be keeping their porch lights on tonight in her memory. The effort is called “Porch Lights for Hannah,” according to the Fort Gordon Spouse’s Facebook page. A vigil is also being planned for later this week.

Ross is the fourth recent drowning in the area, the third of a juvenile.

Daniel Stocker, 2, was discovered in a murky pool in the backyard of his home on the 3800 block of Creighton Place on March 21.

On April 8, Uriel Diaz Lazaro, 15, drowned while at West Dam Recreation Area in Columbia County with his cousin and a friend. On March 31, the body of Annette U. Maxwell, 66, of Blythe, was found floating in the Savannah River.

An investigation revealed Maxwell had previously threatened to drown herself in the river.

Statement from Fort Gordon

FORT GORDON, GA – Fort Gordon is sad to announce the tragic loss of 7 year old Hannah Ross whose lifeless body was recovered this afternoon, Sunday, 29 April at approximately 3:15 p.m. from Soil Erosion Lake, behind her home at Fort Gordon.  A search had been on going around the clock since Hannah was reported to have wondered away from her home Saturday evening at around 6:45 p.m.

We appreciate the teamwork displayed by hundreds of volunteers who went into action immediately, to include the Columbia and Richmond County Sheriff’s office, their K-9 units, their rescue dive teams, as well as the dive team of the Georgia State Patrol, SWAT Division.  The leaders and Families of Fort Gordon thank them so much for their generous support. The level of cooperation that was displayed is a testimony to the strong and unique relationship that exists between Fort Gordon and our surrounding communities. Our prayers go out to the Family.

Comments (9) Add comment
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curly123053
4996
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curly123053 04/29/12 - 10:25 pm
4
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My prayers are with the

My prayers are with the family of Hannah. I had been praying for a happy conclusion and find this news heartbreaking. This child is safely in the arms of her Savior tonight.

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 04/29/12 - 10:49 pm
3
0
I am so very sorry for your

I am so very sorry for your loss. May God comfort you and give you the strength to endure.

jpfrmks
0
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jpfrmks 04/29/12 - 11:14 pm
1
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My thoughts and prayers to

My thoughts and prayers to the family. Also, my thanks to the courage and competence of the Richmond Count EMA Dive Team which found the girl. The State Patrol dive team was present, and was welcomed, but they arrived too late.

ExpertCompSci
3
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ExpertCompSci 04/29/12 - 11:17 pm
2
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Peace and grace to the Ross

Peace and grace to the Ross family through Jesus Christ who always gave and will always give special protection to children.

friendofjen@hotmail.com
0
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friendofjen@hotmail.com 04/29/12 - 11:20 pm
3
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Please understand there is a

Please understand there is a misprint. I was on the dive team that found this young girl. Yes, there were tons of volunteers and we thank them profoundly. The truth is, the Richmond County EMS Dive Team found her and we had been there since last night and came back this AM and worked over the whole area. The point is... I cannot disclose personal information. Just know this... Being there when we found her...for all that it is worth. I prayed with my hands on her for her soul and for her family to find respit and to know she is still as beautiful and peaceful in Heaven.

Retired Army
17512
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Retired Army 04/30/12 - 12:25 am
2
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So very very sad. Precious

So very very sad. Precious little one! The Peace of God be with you and prayers from our household for all.

Connor Threlkeld
897
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Connor Threlkeld 04/30/12 - 01:40 am
0
0
jpfrmks and friendofjen,

jpfrmks and friendofjen, thank you for the information. I have contacted the reporter and tonight's news editor to see if we can obtain confirmation of the information you have provided in order to correct the story. friendofjen, I thank you for your service in performing one of the most difficult and important duties I can possibly imagine.

irishfarmer
24
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irishfarmer 04/30/12 - 01:45 am
2
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God Bless this little girl

God Bless this little girl and her family. May god guide the family threw this rough time. May she lie in the arms of angels in heaven now.

irishfarmer
24
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irishfarmer 04/30/12 - 01:53 am
1
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I mean lay in the arms of

I mean lay in the arms of angels in heaven now. Sorry folks!

smbga
38
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smbga 04/30/12 - 07:57 am
1
0
so very sad.

so very sad.

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