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Deputy Coroner: BG woman found in river believed to have drowned

Published: Jul. 18, 2021 at 7:27 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Bowling Green woman found in Barren River Sunday night has been identified.

“Her name is Blanca Esmeralda Hernandez Jimenez. She was in the water without a jacket,” said the Warren County Deputy Coroner Dwayne Lawrence.

Several agencies responded to Barren River Lake shortly near the Greencastle lock and dam after 4:00 p.m. on Sunday in response to a call of a possible body in the water.

“We received a call Sunday afternoon that a father and son were walking out there and they thought they saw a body. Upon arrival, emergency groups did find what they thought it was, a body in the river,” Deputy Coroner Lawrence said.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy on the victim, Blanca Esmeralda Hernandez Jimenez, 20, of Bowling Green, Monday and there were no signs of trauma to her body.

“The preliminary autopsy showed no trauma and then we’ll be waiting for other results that come back in,” Lawrence said.

Deputy Coroner Lawrence met with the victim’s family Tuesday afternoon to make funeral arrangements. He says the family is still in shock.

“Distraught, but they are very nice folks. I have children, 6 of them, my youngest is 20. I don’t care who you are, you look at that, you look at your own child,” Deputy Coroner Lawrence said.

Until the full autopsy report is released the cause of death is still unknown, but officials say she looks to have drowned. Deputy Coroner Lawrence says the water on Barren River Lake can be dangerous for anyone. He urges people to be prepared on the water. “It is hard, it is swift. Even the best swimmer would have trouble out there.”

Deputy Coroner Lawrence says there were no witnesses at the scene.

Anyone who may have seen the victim in the area or has any information is encouraged to contact Kentucky State Police Post 3 in Bowling Green or call Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

The investigation is ongoing.

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According to Warren County Emergency Management, Travis Puckett, a body has been recovered on the Barren River Sunday night.

Officials have identified the body as a young Hispanic female.

Several agencies responded to Barren River Lake shortly after 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

According to Warren County Emergency Management, fishermen saw personnel effects on the wall of the dam and then reported seeing a possible body floating in the water.

Warren County Emergency Management says the victim looks to have drowned.

Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Warren County Emergency Management, Ky Department of Fish And Wildlife, Richardsville, Bowling Green, and Gott Fire Departments responded to the scene.

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