Investigators will be able to determine more about what caused Sunday’s drowning of a 26-year-old Buford woman pending the results of a toxicology report, according to Sgt. Kiley Sargeant of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.
Samantha McBride of Buford disappeared in the waters of Lake Lanier shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday. She had been on a boat in the Shoal Creek area of Lake Lanier, north of Lake Lanier Islands.
The operator of that boat, 36-year-old Michael Andrea, was arrested on charges of boating under the influence, littering and child endangerment. McBride’s 3-year-old son was on the boat at the time of the drowning, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
Andrea, also of Buford, was released from the Hall County jail on a $2,500 bond, according to Sargeant. A spokesman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources would not elaborate further on the charges, citing an ongoing investigation into Andrea’s actions.
The Hall County Sheriff’s Office is investigating McBride’s death. Her body was recovered from the lake by Hall County Fire Rescue’s Marine Rescue Unit at 8:10 p.m. Sunday.
Sheriff’s office investigators do not currently have a reason to suspect foul play in McBride’s death, Sargeant said.
But investigators do have questions to answer, including whether McBride jumped off the boat voluntarily or whether Andrea’s actions caused her to fall off the boat, Sargeant said.
A pending toxicology report will tell whether McBride was under the influence when she entered the water, Sargeant said. Results of that report are expected in the next week.
“When the toxicology comes back, I feel sure that will answer some of our questions in a day or two,” Sargeant said.
McBride was the third person to drown in Lake Lanier this year.
Last month, 67-year-old David Brown of North Carolina died after jumping into the water near Little Hall Park off Dawsonville Highway.
In May, Rohan Mathew, 27, of Lawrenceville was last seen in the waters east of Shady Grove Campground in Forsyth County; his body has not been recovered.