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Drowning Victim Recovered

The State

July 05, 2002|KENNETH REICH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The body of a 7-year-old girl who was among five family members drowned Tuesday during an outing at Lake Isabella in Kern County has been recovered, a sheriff's spokeswoman said Thursday

Later Thursday, the girl's 5-year-old brother, who had been on life support, died at Valley Children's Hospital in Madera, where he had been taken after being pulled from the lake Tuesday afternoon.

Searchers pulled the body of Lindsey Skaggs from water near a sandbar 100 feet out in the lake Wednesday evening. The family had been playing on the sandbar Tuesday afternoon before the tragedy occurred.

Hospital personnel would not release the 5-year-old's name. Meanwhile, the Kern County coroner's office identified the other drowning victims as the parents, Martin and Charlotte Skaggs, both 45, and two other daughters, Melanie, 10, and April, 8.

Authorities said the family had been living out of a car in the area.

The spokeswoman, in Kern County sheriff's headquarters in Bakersfield, said investigators continued to believe the drownings were accidental.

Earlier, Sheriff's Cmdr. Marty Williamson said wind might have pushed one of the girls off the sandbar into deeper water in the lake at the south end of the Sierra Nevada. Other family members apparently drowned as they tried to rescue her, Williamson said.

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