UPDATED @ 7:49 PM 4:26 PM Body On Smith Lake In Pike County RecoveredRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Oct 05 2019 4:54 PM
UPDATED @ 7:49 PM - Some on the scene report - the body has been located but not recovered at this time. The weather is causing difficulty in bringing the body from where it is located under water.
All teams sitting on go as soon as weather clears.
WINSTON COUNTY AL: 4:26 PM A body has been recovered in Winston County Alabama on Smith Lake this afternoon.
Since Independence Day, July 4, 2019, 26 year old Kelsey Starling went missing from a boat on Smith Lake. Since that day there has been a search for Kelsey Starling. As days passed the hope of finding Kelsey alive faded.
Today rescue search crews from multiple agencies such as ALEA - Marine Division, Houston County Rescue and Regional Land and Water Rescue and multiple, multiple, multiple other agencies did what they promised.
That promise was to bring Kelsey back to the family but not as they wanted which was alive. But all involved and there has been a lot of people and agencies involved, hope they have brought the family one step closer to closure of this tragic set of events.
At this time authorities are not saying the body is Kelsey Starling for sure. Medical Examiners with Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences will conduct examinations of the body in an effort to confirm the body found is actually that of Kelsey Starling.
While all feel reasonably sure of the identity of the body found until the Medical Examiner confirms the identity the will not confirm.
This has been one of the most difficult searches teams have encountered. This lake occupies canyons and not just a body of water. In 1961 when Lewis Smith Dam was constructed everything in the canyon was covered with water. Depths of water are reported to be at least 200 feet deep. There are barns, old buildings, farm equipment, and timber as large as 40 feet to 100 feet in height.
This has caused searchers to be on and off in search operations. A lot of search crews donate their time, energies and resources which hinders search missions. And this mission has been a cooperative effort of ALEA and volunteer agencies managed a lot by Winston County Emergency Management.
Emergency Management is not just a resource agency but a operational agency that helps coordinate all agencies involved in different emergencies. Emergency Management operates both in the office and field to assist agencies in the coordination of and management of pre-incidents, incidents occurring, and after incidents occur.
Lewis Smith Lake is a reservoir in north Alabama. Located on the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River, it covers over 21,000 acres (85 km2)  in Cullman, Walker, and Winston Counties. The maximum depth at the dam is 264 feet. It is the deepest lake in Alabama. The three-fingered reservoir has over 500 miles (800 km)  of shoreline, and at full pool has a level of 510 feet (160 m).
The lake was created by Alabama Power with the construction of the Lewis Smith Dam. One of the largest earthen dams in the eastern United States, it stretches 2,200 feet (670 m) in length and reaches a maximum height of 300 feet (91 m). Construction began on November 25, 1957, and the dam entered service on September 5, 1961. The name honors Lewis Martin Smith, president of Alabama Power from 1952 to 1957.