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Divers tie ribbon to tree 140 feet underwater where Kelsey Starling’s body found

Rickey Stokes

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Posted by: RStokes
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Date: Oct 07 2019 4:09 PM

For months, blue ribbons and bows have adorned the docks and boat houses along the water’s edge at Smith Lake in memory of Kelsey Starling who vanished following a July 4 boat crash.

They served as a reminder that her body had not been found and as a sign of hope that she would be brought home to her grieving father and teen sister and everyone else devastated by her death.

As of Saturday night, Starling was home, her body recovered after three months and one day of exhaustive searches. And, as of Sunday afternoon, a blue ribbon is now tied to a tree about 140 feet below the lake’s surface to mark the spot where Starling finally was found.

“We decided it on a whim,’’ said Houston County Rescue Unit diver Chris Ball, who had to return Sunday to the spot where they retrieved Starling’s body to clean up some of the supplies they left behind the previous day. “We had a blue ribbon tied on our rescue boat and thought, ‘Why don’t we take that down there and tie it on the tree so the family, if they are ever out here looking at this spot, they’ll know there’s something down there to memorialize Kelsey. We took a Kelsey-blue ribbon down and that was the first thing I did.”


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