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Drownings are ruled accidental

POSTED: January 14, 2014 5:05 p.m.

Autopsy reports have confirmed that two Dawson County men pulled from Lake Lanier on Friday drowned.

"The manner of death is accidental caused by drowning and compounded by hypothermia," Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Sherry Lang said Monday afternoon.

The men's bodies were recovered from Fredericks Cove near Ga. 400 in Dawsonville on Friday afternoon, more than a week after they were reported missing by family.

According to their parents, the young men said they were headed out to go fishing about 3:30 a.m. Jan. 2 and would return later to spend the day with the families.

Fishing poles were found at their homes, along with items including one of the men's cellphone and wallet.

The GBI and Georgia Department of Natural Resources were also called in to assist in the search, which included ground and air sweeps.

Divers were unable to go into the lake until Friday due to extreme temperatures and nearly an inch of ice blanketing the cove.

Dawson County Sheriff's Maj. Tony Wooten said a sonar scan hit on the two bodies about a quarter mile from the dock where family believed the two men, both 20, went fishing.

The bodies were submerged in between 15-20 feet of water and about 30 feet from a dock.

The first body was found about 5:30 p.m. followed by the second about 15 minutes later, Wooten said.

Both of the men were fully clothed when their bodies were pulled from the lake.

The bodies were taken to the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta, where autopsies were performed.

While the deaths have been ruled accidental, investigators have sent off for routine toxicology reports, which could take several weeks, Lang said.

Services for Cox will be held at 5 p.m. Friday at Dahlonega Funeral Home. The family will receive friends beginning at 3 p.m.

Services for Wood are set for 1 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church of Dawsonville. Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Bearden Funeral Home in Dawsonville.

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