Authorities find missing fisherman’s body in Lake Mitchell

Published 2:02 pm Sunday, August 17, 2014

Chilton County authorities early Sunday recovered the body of a missing fisherman who disappeared on Lake Mitchell the previous day.

The body of Bill Griffin, who was in his 60s, was recovered from the water shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday, according to Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis.

Davis said Griffin was fishing in his boat on Lake Mitchell Saturday when he fell into the water approximately 200 yards south of Lay Dam.

“There were some witnesses on the bank who saw him fall into the water,” Davis said.

Griffin was the only person in the boat, and he was not wearing a life jacket, Davis said.

Multiple law enforcement agencies from neighboring counties including Autauga, Coosa and Elmore as well as the Alabama Marine Police began searching for Griffin on Saturday.

The rescue operation was called off at dark on Saturday and authorities resumed the search at 7 a.m. Sunday.

Davis said at least one search boat stayed on the water overnight.

When authorities recovered Griffin’s body, Davis said Griffin had not drifted far from where he had been fishing in his boat.

Although Davis did not have an exact measurement to the depth of water Griffin’s body was found, Davis estimated it was around 10 feet deep.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this time,” Davis said. “I have talked to several family members and they told me he was an avid fisherman. He knew the water, and he loved to fish.”

Davis said Griffin was from the Gap of the Mountain area.

The Chilton County Dive Team, members of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security Region Four Tactical Dive Team, Chilton County Rescue Squad, the Alabama Marine Police, Chilton County Emergency Management Agency, Coosa County Sheriff’s Department, Autauga County Sheriff’s Department, Elmore County Sheriff’s Department, and aviation units from Chilton County assisted in the search.