An East Tennessee family is mourning the loss of a 12-year-old girl after she died last week in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Authorities say Georgia Myrick Stuart drowned near the Wilson Dam in northern Alabama on Wednesday after she was trapped in a culvert. Investigators say she was playing when she got stuck in a drainage pipe between a waterfall and river.
Debbie Hamby says her granddaughter always had a bright personality.
"Her spirit will always be here with everything she loved," Hamby said. "Full of life, she had a love first for god, anyone will tell you that."
Georgia lived with her grandparents in Morgan County.
"She loved to go to the creek looking for crawdads and salamanders and she would come running saying 'it touched me, it touched me.' I would say 'you big chicken,'" Hamby recalled.
Hamby is heartbroken knowing she won't see her outside playing again.
"She's dancing on the floors of Heaven. She always told me 'I'm going to be famous,' and she is, she is, because she is the first to meet Jesus," Hamby said.
The Tennessee Valley Authority owns the dam, and the police agencies there are doing an investigation to find out what caused the incident and what they can do to prevent it from happening again.
For now, the rock pile is closed to the public.