UPDATE (11:50 p.m.) Marine Patrol Division/Northern District, has confirmed the body of Kelsey Starling was recovered Saturday night from Smith Lake.
According to Sgt. Chad Pate, ALEA-Marine Patrol Division, search efforts had resumed on Thursday. Divers from Houston County Rescue Squad located what they believed to be Starling's body Saturday night in approximately 140 feet of water. She was located in the approximate location of the July 4 accident near Rock Creek.
Houston County Rescue Squad, Crane Hill Fire Department, Logan Fire Department, Trimble Fire Dept., Smith Lake Task Force, Winston County Sheriff’s Office, Winston County Coroner’s Office, Winston County EMA, Cullman County Coroner’s Office and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Marine Patrol Division were involved in recovery efforts.
(10:00 p.m.) Multiple news outlets are reporting divers have located the body of Kelsey Nicole Starling of Birmingham who was killed in a July 4 boating accident on Smith Lake.
Alton Starling told AL.com, a body recovered by Houston County Search and Rescue divers is that of his daughter.
Starling, 26, of Troy, was a passenger in a 2012 Mastercraft wakeboard boat involved in a two-vessel crash on July 4.
Marine Patrol Troopers and multiple law enforcement and search and rescue agencies have been searching for the Troy woman in the Rock Creek area of Smith Lake since the incident.
The location and undergrowth made the search difficult.
In addition to underwater trees, that stand 50 and 60 feet tall, there are steep drop-offs, which were natural bluffs and ravines before the lake was created. The depth of the lake is also difficult for divers who must be cautious because of the trees and the risk of decompression sickness.
Efforts to find a missing boater at Smith Lake are running into unique challenges because of the forest of trees still standing in the deep water.
The operator of the Mastercraft, 23-year-old William Jackson Fite of Decatur, was booked into the Winston County jail on a charge of Boating Under the Influence.
Nick Bowling Suggs, 50, and Jodi Wallace Suggs, 50, both of Decatur, who were on board a second vessel involved in the crash, were charged with criminally negligent homicide, a misdemeanor. They’ve pleaded not guilty.
A Cullman attorney representing a Decatur couple charged in connection with a July 4 boating…