A woman’s decomposed body was found Sunday in Lake Lanier. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News.)

Sheriff: ‘Badly decomposed’ body in Lake Lanier is missing teen

A badly decomposed body discovered floating in Lake Lanier on Sunday was that of a missing 18-year-old Barrow County woman, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

Fishermen found the body of Estelle Kouassi of Winder shortly before noon Sunday and notified 911, sheriff’s Deputy Nicole Bailes said. Hall fire rescuers recovered the body near the Dawsonville marina.

A construction crew was performing routine maintenance on the bridge when one of the workers, Doug Driscoll, took photos of rescuers pulling the body from the water, Channel 2 Action News previously reported.

“I don’t know how long it’d been in the water, but it didn’t resemble a body,” Driscoll said.

Bailes said Friday a missing person report was filed with the Hall sheriff’s office on March 3.

“The description of Kouassi matched that of the body recovered,” she said. “With having a name, investigators were then able to obtain medical and dental records for Kouassi. Through dental records, the medical examiner was able to positively identify the body found as … Kouassi.”

No trauma was found on a body, Bailes said.

“The medical examiner has stated that the cause of death is still undetermined,” she said. “Investigators have spoken with family members and friends of Kouassi and foul play is not suspected with her death.”