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Authorities confirm body is that of missing fisherman

POSTED: March 19, 2013 12:55 a.m.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that a body pulled from Lake Lanier on Sunday was that of a fisherman who went missing Feb. 11.

The body of George “Marty” Counts, 47, of Tucker, was found in the Little Ridge area of the lake in Forsyth County by two fishermen Sunday, DNR spokeswoman Melissa Cummings said Monday.

The body was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime laboratory in Decatur.

Counts had not been seen since Feb. 11, when he went fishing on Lanier. His empty boat was found that night near Little Ridge Park.

The DNR was notified and launched the search after rangers found the unoccupied boat out of gas and with a cellphone on board.

Authorities began an intensive search, including by helicopter and boat sonar. They focused their efforts near where the boat was found, which is by the park off Lanier Beach South Road, near Buford Dam.

Officials have said Counts frequented Lanier for fishing, sometimes staying out all night. He also had a house on the lake.

Visibility on boats is limited at night, and authorities said it was possible Counts could have struck something.

Search teams found shoes, a fishing rod and a hat in the effort, which started once the boat was discovered and lasted throughout daylight each weekday.



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