A 24-year-old kayaker who vanished during a family camping trip in Georgia had tied a rock to her ankles with an extension cord in an apparent intentional drowning, police said on Monday.
Maranda Whitten’s body was located in Point Lake Monday morning, three days after she was last seen in a teal-colored kayak. The vessel, along with the paddle, life jacket and Whitten’s uncharged phone, were located near a dam in Shaefer Heard Campground on Saturday.
“Maranda did have an extension cord which was missing from the campground tied to her ankles which was then tied to a large rock,” Troup County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post Monday.
The sheriff’s office said Whitten died of an apparent drowning and the incident is being treated as a suicide.
Whitten, from Valley, Ala., was on a family camping trip. She was kayaking Friday when a storm came through the area, Troup County Sheriff Sgt. Stewart Smith told WSB-TV, citing witnesses. Smith added that campers did not see Whitten get out of the boat.
Whitten’s mother, Tabatha, told Newsweek hours before the body was found that her daughter was depressed. Whitten had recently graduated from college, broken up with her boyfriend and was dealing with debt.
“She also had the idea that she would land that big job [after graduation],” her mother said. “She went into major depression. Everything hadn’t been going her way. Maranda is highly intelligent and seemed on track all her years back in college.”