Madison County Woman Drowns in Pond near Her Home

An elderly woman was found in a pond behind her home in Hull this past Friday. The investigation into the death has been ruled an accidental drowning.
Jessie Mae James, 86, of Spratlin Mill Road, Hull, was found dead in a pond at her residence Friday around 5 p.m.
Her body was sent to the state crime lab for examination. Madison County coroner Julie Phillips said Tuesday that a medical examiner with the state office found no reason to suspect foul play.

“There was nothing on the full-body scan with X-rays that would warrant for me to further the investigation,” she said. “It is definitely an accidental drowning.”
Sheriff Michael Moore also said he saw no evidence of foul play. He said he believed James walked down to the pond alone and had an accident or medical situation. The sheriff said he knew James, adding that she was clear-minded and in reasonably good health. He said he believed she had probably walked to the pond with thoughts of her late husband, who used to fish at the pond, and whose death anniversary was nearing.
The sheriff said James’ right shoe was found stuck under the root of a sweet gum tree near the pond and that she was still wearing her eyeglasses when she was found.

An incident report from offers some details of the incident. It reported that James’ grandson, Matthew James, who lives at the house with his grandmother, couldn’t find Mrs. James. Matthew James called Sheriff Moore to advise him of the situation and the sheriff called 9-1-1.
The grandson said his grandmother had hip surgery in the past and had trouble walking.

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