Maranda Whitten went missing Friday while kayaking on a lake in Troup County.
Video: Channel 2 Action News
Video: Channel 2 Action News

Body of missing kayaker found in Georgia lake

The body of a woman who went missing while kayaking on a Troup County lake has been found.

Someone called sheriff’s officials about 9 a.m. Monday to say they saw a body in the water, authorities said.

Just after noon, the sheriff’s office confirmed the body was that of Maranda Whitten, 24, of Valley, Ala. 

“The search for Maranda Whitten has unfortunately been suspended,” sheriff’s Sgt. Stewart Smith said in an emailed statement. “Maranda was found earlier this morning, a victim of an apparent drowning. As standard procedure her body will be sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be Maranda’s family. We appreciate all those who have gave of their time and resources during this time.”

Whitten’s body was found with an extension cord, which was missing from the campground, tied to her ankles, then tied to a large rock, he said.

Her death is being treated as a suicide, according to Smith.

Whitten was last seen Friday. Officials said she was on a family camping trip at Shaefer Heard Park when she disappeared while kayaking on West Point Lake, which is about 82 miles southwest of downtown Atlanta. 

“Around 12:30 p.m., some campers saw her kayaking out in the water and shortly after that, a storm came through and around 2:30 her kayak was seen floating into the water with the paddle and the life jacket," Smith said.

Investigators from the sheriff's office, several other agencies and some civilian volunteers searched Saturday and Sunday for Whitten.

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