Local man drowns in pond

Published 12:30 pm Saturday, March 18, 2017

ELLAVILLE — A 70-year-old Schley County man went to check his fishing nets late Thursday afternoon and never returned home.
According to Schley County Coroner David Byrd, Larry Raybon, 70, of Raybon Road, left his home shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday on his way to Raybon Pond to check his nets. When he failed to show back up at home, his family contacted the Schley County Sheriff’s Office early Friday morning. Sheriff’s personnel arrived on the scene and found Raybon’s boat, and initiated a search. The Sumter County Fire & Rescue dive team was called in and searched the pond until around 6 p.m. with no success.
The following morning, according to Byrd, around 9 a.m. Saturday, the search resumed, with the Sumter dive team being joined by dive teams from Lee County, Georgia, and Russell County, Alabama, as well as personnel from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Byrd said Raybon’s body was located in the pond around 11:15 a.m. Saturday and recovered. The body was sent to the State Crime Lab in Macon, he said, and the death was ruled as an accidental drowning.
— Beth Alston