Man drowns himself
Puts rocks into clothing, walks into Lake Oconee
By Patrick Yost
A Douglasville, Ga. man apparently drowned himself in Lake Oconee Saturday.
According to Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, Putnam County deputies pulled the body of Julius Cornelius Banks, 41, from approximately 10 feet of water near the Parks Mill Road bridge over Lake Oconee.
Sills said bass fisherman participating in a bass tournament that had launched from Sugar Creek Marina told authorities that they observed Banks walk into the lake, fall backwards and disappear.
“It was a case of suicide by drowning,” Sills said. “He disappeared and didn’t come back up.” Banks entered the water at approximately 10:30 a.m.
After Banks’ body was retrieved, deputies found approximately 30 pounds of rocks stuffed in Banks clothing, including a large rock in the hood of Banks sweatshirt. Sills said there was no identification on Banks’ body but authorities sent post mortem fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and received positive identification at approximately 10 p.m. Saturday.
Sills said Banks had been released from a Georgia Department of Corrections half–way house on Monday, had met with a parole officer on Wednesday and missed another meeting with a parole officer on Friday. An ankle bracelet placed on Banks had been removed. According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Banks was convicted in 2004 in Hall County on robbery charges. He received a six–year sentence.
Deputies located a vehicle with a drive–out tag near the scene that they believe Banks drove to the location.