Two women were found dead Saturday in Lake Tuscaloosa after they were reported missing.

The women have been identified as 34-year-old Shelly Darling and 41-year-old Elizabeth Whipple.

Around 12:30 a.m., the Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit was called out to the 15000 block of West Wind Drive in Northport on Lake Tuscaloosa.

According to Capt. Kip Hart with the homicide unit, a dive team and lake patrol found the women early Saturday morning in Lake Tuscaloosa.

Hart said Darling’s family called the police when she didn’t come home for dinner. Her husband told police that he saw his wife at 8 a.m. Friday and that his wife and her friend were going to the family lake house that morning. But when she didn’t come home, he got concerned.

When family members went to check on Darling and Whipple, they only found their belongings on the dock.

Neighbor Patricia Harden said she’s shocked to hear about the incident.

“It’s just an awful feeling to think that we were that close,” she said. “We wouldn’t have been able to help them, but it’s just really upsetting.”

Hart said investigators believe the deaths were accidental, but they’re waiting for autopsies to confirm that assumption.
Harden said she and her husband will be more vigilant while boating on the lake and hopes everyone does the same.

“We were just really upset, really sad to think of two women who lost their lives,” she said. “It made us think about safety issues. I just hope this wakes people up to the idea of safety issues at the piers.”

Harden also said the Four Winds Neighborhood is planning to reach out to the victim’s family.


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