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UPDATE: Officials identify body found at Dawson County park
War Hill Park sign
File photo.

The local man who was recently found deceased at a Dawson County park has been identified.

Officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources identified the man found at War Hill Park on Friday, May 12 as Melvin John Warnecke, 78, of Dawsonville.

DNR officials said "the cause of death is believed to be accidental drowning, possibly due to a medical issue" and that Warnecke's body was found by a resident at the park's swimming area. 

The Forsyth County Coroner previously said the reported drowning of a man in Lake Lanier at War Hill Park on Friday, May 12 has not been confirmed as a drowning.

A press release posted on May 14 by Dawson County government reported the cause of death was confirmed to be a drowning by the Forsyth County Coroner. However, the coroner tells FCN the investigation is ongoing and they have not yet confirmed the cause of death.

The coroner said it could take up to 90 days for the medical examiner's office to release the final report.

Forsyth County Fire PIO Jason Shivers said their crews did respond to the call and the victim was found in shallow water.

"The body was located very quickly, and only one firefighter went in the water,”  Shivers said.  “The firefighter was able to wade out far enough to retrieve the body of the victim.” 

From there, Shivers said the firefighter brought the victim to shore and law enforcement took over.

Daniel Dotson and Jim Dean contributed to this report.