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Woman drowns at Gilmer Inn


William Browning



A 21-year-old woman has died after apparently drowning at the Gilmer Inn pool Thursday evening. 


Amber Nicole "Nicky" Shelnut, of Warrior, Ala., was pronounced dead at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle after being transported there by emergency responders, according to Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant. 


A 911 call was placed about the incident, which happened about 7:30 p.m., according to Laura Brady-Conover, the hotel manager. 


When firefighters and medics arrived at the Main Street hotel CPR efforts were underway. There were no witnesses, Merchant said. 


"We're devastated," Brady-Conover said. 


Brady-Conover said she and her boyfriend were sitting outside when she asked him to add water to the pool. 


"He went to put the hose in the pool and that's when he saw her at the bottom of the pool," she said. "He jumped in and brought her up and I pulled her to the side of the pool. We called 911 and tried CPR, but she was gone." 


Brady-Conover said Shelnut had checked into the hotel a couple of hours earlier and was with another person, who had left to get something to eat when Shelnut went to the pool. The pool at the Gilmer Inn is open. There are signs posted that say "No lifeguard on duty. Swim at your own risk." 


The pool was closed following the incident and Brady-Conover said she talked to Shelnut's family Thursday evening.  


"Her father came by to pick up her stuff and we talked a minute. He said he appreciated what we tried to do for his daughter. That helped, but we're all still pretty frazzled." 


An investigation is ongoing, Merchant said.


William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.



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