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Second Eagle Lake drowning victim found



The scene at Eagle Lake Wednesday morning. (Photo by David Day)
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Authorities have recovered the second victim in a tragic double drowning at Eagle Lake that occurred sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey has identified the victims as James and Debra Reno of Raymond, who owned a weekend home on Eagle Lake. James Reno was 57 and Debra Reno was 61. Debra Reno’s birthday was Monday, and they were on the boat to celebrate the occasion.

The Renos were last heard from around 4:30 p.m. Monday. When family members could not reach them Tuesday morning, they called E911. Around 11 a.m. Tuesday, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office launched an extensive search.

The couple’s pontoon boat was found at around noon Tuesday near Australia Island. Numerous personal items, including both of the victim’s cell phones, were on the vessel when it was recovered.

James Reno’s body was recovered Tuesday at around 3 p.m. between Buck Chute and Maxwell’s Landing.

Numerous agencies resumed the search for Debra Reno just after daylight Wednesday morning after an exhaustive effort that began Tuesday. Many rescuers, including Eagle Lake Fire Chief Chris Libbey and Deputy Sheriff Billie Joe Heggins have been on the scene for more than 24 hours.

Officials spotted Debra Reno’s body near Buck Chute at around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, using a drone from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. From there, authorities moved into the area to recover her body.

Agencies involved in the search included the Eagle Lake Fire Department; the Vicksburg Fire Department Dive Rescue Team; Warren County Emergency Management; Warren County Sheriff’s Office; Hinds, Madison, and Rankin County Emergency Management teams; Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks; and the drone team from MEMA. Many of the officials involved have previously trained together on Eagle Lake for incidents such as this. At one point as many as a dozen boats from the various agencies were involved, and numerous Eagle Lake residents also joined the search.

Numerous family members and friends have rushed to Eagle Lake to offer support to the Reno’s children, including several of their fellow church members from Raymond.

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