A former Gwinnett County Police Officer is dead after authorities say he drowned while fishing in Lumpkin County earlier this week.
Lumpkin County Sheriff's Office Lt. Alan Roach said the incident happened Tuesday evening in the Turners Corner area when Justin Andrew Cofield, age 28 of Duluth, was fishing in the Chestatee River.
"He had gone upstream to do some more fishing and approximately 40 minutes had lapsed and no one had seen or heard from him," Roach said. "In attempting to locate the male, one of our officers went upstream and, with a stick, was able to locate an area of the water that seemed a little deeper and was able to observe what appeared to be a victim in that deeper water."
Lumpkin County Fire Department rescue crews were able to retrieve Cofield from the water and Roach said he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cofield's obituary states that he lived in Duluth at the time of his death but was formerly of Gainesville. Gwinnett County Police Department officials confirmed that he worked as an officer in the department from June 2015 to December 2021. After working for the department, Cofield went on to own and operate American Roofing.
Roach said Cofield's death has been ruled as an accidental drowning.
An update was made on May 26 at 6:26 p.m. to provide more information about Cofield's history.