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Bodies of two missing men found
DDRB mason cox
mason cox

The bodies of two young Dawson County men missing since Jan. 2 were found today in Lake Lanier, according to officials.

"The weather broke for us today which allowed boats to get out after a few days of ice," Dawson County Sheriff's Office Maj. Tony Wooten said. "We were able to recover both bodies, one at 5:30 (p.m.) and the second at 5:45 (p.m.). We believe one to be David Wood and the other Mason Cox, both missing from Dawsonville."

The bodies were found approximately one-quarter mile from a dock where the friends often went fishing in their Frederick Cove subdivision.

"They were in 15 to 20 feet of water and about 20 to 30 yards apart," said Cpl. Adam Loudermilk with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement. "Both were probably 30 yards from the edge of the docks."

DNR used sonar equipment and new video-ray underwater cameras to verify what they thought were bodies, Loudermilk said.

Preliminary investigations showed no signs of trauma.

"There were no obviously signs of trauma that we were able to see, so without the autopsy, we can't comment further," Wooten said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations will continue with its investigation, and the bodies will be sent to the crime lab for an autopsy next week.

Both families were notified within 30 minutes of the bodies being found.

"We're a small community," Wooten said. "We know each other. It's hard to have to tell people that you know that the kids are obviously deceased."

Dive teams from Hall County recovered the bodies.

"The last few days were tough, because we wanted to be in the water and use the devices DNR has; we did as much as we could..., searching everywhere we could even with helicopters," Wooten said. "Obviously, the breaking point was after the ice passed, we were successful."

The young men, both 20 years old, were last seen at 3:30 Thursday morning, Jan. 2, when they decided to go night-fishing.

Nearly 12,000 people joined a Facebook group called Help Find Mason Cox and David Wood, and hundreds posted comments offering prayers and support for the families. Check back for updates.