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Drowning victim found in borrow pit
Drowning scene
First responders work the scene of a possible drowning Thursday afternoon off Wells Cemetery Road. - photo by Lewis Levine

The body of a drowning victim was recovered from a Liberty County borrow pit Thursday evening on Wells Cemetery Road near Gum Branch.

The body of Adam Burkhalter, 29, of Long County, was recovered after an extensive search by members of the Liberty County Fire Department and a Wayne County dive team.

According to Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Detective Brian Barnes, Burkhalter was swimming in the borrow pit in Liberty County around 4 p.m. with a friend when he went under the water, surfaced once and gasped for air then slipped back under and did not remerge. His friend ran to seek help. 

Liberty County EMS personnel set up a command post on the scene as members of the Liberty County Fire Department searched for Burkhalter in the borrow pit, which is estimated to be 15-20 feet deep in certain parts.

The Wayne County dive team found Burkhalter's body around 7 p.m. in an area of the pit thought to be 20 feet deep.

Barnes said Burkhalter's body would be taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investivation’s crime lab in Savannah, where an autopsy will be conducted. 

The borrow pit, according to Barnes, is off limits to the public. 

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