Officials ID 9-year-old girl killed in boating accident

Officials are investigating a boating incident that left a 9-year-old girl dead Sunday after a fishing trip with her father in central Georgia.

A Georgia Department of Natural Resources official found the body of Amelia Whitlock of Jackson just before 8 p.m. Monday, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

She was found in the Turtle Cove area of Lake Jackson in Jasper County.

“The victim was riding in a vessel early Sunday morning with her father, Charles Whitlock, age 31, also of Jackson, when both were ejected from the vessel and into the lake,” DNR spokesman Mark McKinnon said.

Whitlock was able to swim to shore, but the child’s disappearance launched an expansive search, McKinnon said.

DNR workers flew over the area several times, and those on the ground used cadaver dogs in the search.

A sonar system ultimately helped authorities locate the child’s body in 10 feet of water.

“The victim has been turned over to the coroner,” McKinnon told Channel 2 Action News.