Birthday boat ride ends in tragedy as Mississippi couple drowns

Published 6:14 pm Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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A birthday boat ride turned to tragedy with the deaths of a Mississippi couple on the lake where they own a vacation home.

Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey identified the couple on Wednesday as James Reno Jr., 57, and Debra Reno, 61, of Raymond, news agencies reported. Monday, the day the couple went boating, was Debra Reno’s birthday, he said.

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Both drowned, he told The Associated Press.

Foul play is not suspected, Sheriff Martin Pace told the Vicksburg Post.

He said the Renos, who owned a vacation home at Eagle Lake, were reported missing Tuesday morning after relatives realized they had not returned from Monday’s boat ride.

Their undamaged pontoon boat and James Reno’s body were found about 4 1/2 hours apart on Tuesday, and Debra Reno’s body was found Wednesday.

Their cell phones and other personal items were on the boat, WLBT-TV reported.

Debra Reno’s body was not far from the spot where her husband’s was found, Pace told the Vicksburg Post.

Eagle Lake is an oxbow lake on the Mississippi-Louisiana state line about 20 miles north of Vicksburg. It’s about 35 miles but nearly an hour’s drive from Raymond.