Cause of death on friends found dead ruled drowning - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Cause of death on friends found dead at Lake Lanier ruled drowning

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DAWSON COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

An autopsy was performed Monday on the two men found dead in Lake Lanier on Friday after disappearing during a fishing trip.

The medical examiner ruled the cause of death for Mason Cox and David Wood, both 20, as drowning. The autopsy revealed that there were no internal or external injuries.

On Sunday night, loved ones of Cox and David Wood shared stories and celebrated the lives of the best friends during an emotional vigil in Dawsonville. The small "North Georgia Church" was standing room only.

Family friend Shawn Dutcher said the young men loved life. "They always had smiles on their face. They really had a lot of fun and that was just really contagious."

"It's been difficult," student Pastor Matthew Pritchett said. "It's been difficult. It's been frustrating. The families are holding up well. In a time when it's really difficult there's really no other word for it."

The two friends never returned from a fishing trip on Lake Lanier on Jan. 2. Their fishing poles were found outside on the porch.

After an extensive search, authorities discovered the bodies eight days later on Jan. 10.

Freezing temperatures hampered the search as nearly an inch of ice blanketed Fredericks Cove.

Wooten said he knows the families and the young men personally and is devastated over their loss.

"It is a small community. We know each other. It is always hard to tell people that you know, the kids that you know, that they are deceased."

The men were found about a quarter mile away from where they were believed to have gone in the water. They were recovered by the Hall County Dive Team in 15 to 20 feet of water Friday afternoon.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations will continue to gather evidence as to how they died, but initial reports show no signs of foul play.

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