Woman’s cause of death determined to be accidental drowning

For The Tribune

NORTH VERNON

An autopsy revealed a North Vernon woman who was found in a private lake just south of Vernon on Saturday died by drowning.

Jennings County Coroner Eugene L. Rudicel said Monday the cause of death for Jama D. Brown, 49, was accidental drowning.

Brown was found in the lake at the 1900 block of East County Road 100S at about 4 p.m. Saturday, said Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, Indiana State Police spokesman.

She lived about a half mile from the lake, police learned, but investigators have not determined her whereabouts or what happened prior to her being found in the lake, Wheeles said.

Rudicel said he has ordered toxicology tests for Brown, which he said is the normal procedure in cases like this.

A resident who lives along the lake saw something floating in the lake at midday Saturday and then later in the afternoon, Wheeles said. The individual took a boat out to determine what it was and that is when Brown’s body was found, Wheeles said.

The autopsy results showed that Brown probably was in the water 12 hours or less before being found, Rudicel said.

Anyone with information about what happened is asked to call Jennings County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Jim Blevins at 812-346-5111 or Detective Brent Miller with the Indiana State Police Versailles post at 812-689-5000.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.