A body found floating in Halls Mill Creek in Mobile, Alabama, on June 26 has been identified by authorities as that of a missing woman.
Angela Bowman, 41, whose body was discovered in the creek off Cypress Business Park Drive, was last seen walking away from home on June 15 around 3:30 p.m. reported FOX 10.
Police say she never returned and told no one where she was going.
Mobile Safety Director James Barber initially told WKRG that Bowman’s death is being treated by authorities as a homicide.
Police later determined, however, that the death was due to accidental drowning as no evidence of foul play was discovered.
Bowman, who was identified by her tattoos, will be DNA tested for positive identification.
Accidental Drowning in the United States
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), around 10 people die every day from accidental drowning, and it ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.
How big is the problem?
- From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States—about 10 deaths per day. An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.
- About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
- More than 50 percent of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care (compared with a hospitalization rate of about 6 percent for all unintentional injuries).
- These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g. permanent vegetative state).
Who is Most at Risk?
- Nearly 80 percent of people who die from drowning are male.
- Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2014, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from an unintentional injury, one-third died from drowning. Among children ages 1 to 4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools.
- Between 1999-2010, the fatal unintentional drowning rate for African Americans was significantly higher than that of whites across all ages.
What factors influence drowning risk?
The main factors that affect drowning risk are lack of swimming ability, lack of barriers to prevent unsupervised water access, lack of close supervision while swimming, location, failure to wear life jackets, alcohol use, and seizure disorders.
- Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water. Supervisors of preschool children should provide “touch supervision,” be close enough to reach the child at all times. Because drowning occurs quickly and quietly, adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn) while supervising children, even if lifeguards are present.
- Always swim with a buddy. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards when possible.
- If you or a family member has a seizure disorder, provide one-on-one supervision around water, including swimming pools. Consider taking showers rather than using a bath tub for bathing. Wear life jackets when boating.
- Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. However, even when children have had formal swimming lessons, constant, careful supervision when children are in the water, and barriers, such as pool fencing to prevent unsupervised access, are still important.
- Learn CPR, in the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could save someone’s life.