Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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June 3, 2014

Tragedy strikes at Longmire Lake — Sad and tragic news ended the weekend at a Pauls Valley lake as a young girl was the victim of a drowning.

Pauls Valley authorities confirmed Monday morning the drowning victim at Longmire Lake was 6-year-old Ava Bells of Shawnee.

Bells was with a group of people on Sunday night that included two adults after earlier in the day visiting with family members who live in Stratford, said PV Police Chief Mitch McGill.

“This is a bad deal and your heart goes out to the family,” McGill said.

“Even though it’s not the story I want to say thank you to all the agencies that came to help with the search for the girl,” he said, adding all the first responders at the scene resulted in the girl’s body being found fairly quickly.

It all started just before 5 p.m. Sunday when the call went out for a missing girl at the lake located between Pauls Valley and Stratford in eastern Garvin County.

Responding police officers learned the girl, during a visit with family members living in the area, joined another group for some swim and picnic time at Longmire Lake.

“This girl was visiting family in Stratford,” McGill said. “They allowed her to go with these other people. She was with friends.

They had just shown up at the lake to picnic and spend the evening at the lake.”

The group was described as one car load of people with two adults and an undetermined number of children.

According to the chief, the adults were unloading the car as the kids went to a designated swimming area on the north side of the PV area lake.

At some point the girl went under the water and was soon reported missing as authorities from all over the area responded to the lake area.

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