Coroner releases name of state park drowning victim

Published 4:00 pm Monday, April 2, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Oak Mountain State Park officials and several area law enforcement and rescue agencies discovered the body of 18-year-old Childersburg resident La Memphis Fuller at about 7:15 a.m. on April 2, said Shelby County Coroner Diana New.

OMSP Superintendent Michael Jeffries said Fuller was reported missing in the park lake off Terrace Drive shortly after 3:30 p.m. on April 1. Fuller, who was not wearing a life jacket, and three others went out on a paddle boat on the lake before he was reported missing, Jeffries said.

“(The victim) got out of the paddle boat where he could touch the bottom of the lake, and the wind started blowing and blew the boat away,” Jeffries said. “The kid panicked.”

Jeffries said one of the victim’s friends attempted to rescue the victim, but was unable to get him back into the boat.

After the victim’s friends reported him missing, OMSP crews began searching for the man. Crews searched the lake until about 2 a.m., but were unable to locate the victim, Jeffries said.

“I couldn’t sleep all night, so we went back out early this morning to continue the search,” Jeffries said, noting a boat with a depth finder discovered the victim’s body.

Jeffries said the Pelham and Calera dive teams, Coosa Valley Rescue and the Pelham Police Department and Fire Department helped in the search.

“I’d really like to thank all the agencies who came out to help us,” Jeffries said.