Harrison County

Coroner IDs woman who drowned in Biloxi's Back Bay

JUSTIN MITCHELL/SUN HERALD 
 Biloxi police and Department of Marine Resources officials recovered the body of a woman from Back Bay in Biloxi on Thursday, June 16, 2016. The body was covered with a sheet on the Forrest Avenue Pier until the coroner could arrive.
JUSTIN MITCHELL/SUN HERALD Biloxi police and Department of Marine Resources officials recovered the body of a woman from Back Bay in Biloxi on Thursday, June 16, 2016. The body was covered with a sheet on the Forrest Avenue Pier until the coroner could arrive.

BILOXI -- Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove has identified a woman who drowned in Biloxi's Back Bay on Thursday afternoon.

Biloxi Fire Department divers recovered the body of Simber Golden, 38, near the Forrest Avenue Pier after officials were called to scene about 4:30 p.m, Hargrove said.

Hargrove ruled her death an accidental drowning.

"I don't know how long she was in the water or where she went in," DMR Marine Patrol Chief Keith Davis said.

Robert Hokamp Sr. of Gulfport said he was setting crab traps off the Forrest Avenue Pier when he saw Golden walk past him with her head down. He said she was on the pier for about 10 minutes before she vanished into the Back Bay.

Hokamp, who traps crabs on the pier, said she had a purse and some bags with her when she sat down on the pier.

Suddenly, he said, he heard two girls screaming for him to help because Golden had "fallen into the water."

He said the girls told him they saw her splash a few times, then go under.

"I rushed over there and couldn't see anything, so I called 911," he said.

He is disabled and said he wasn't able to jump into the water after the woman.

"I called 911 and they got here as quick as they could. They came and jumped in the water and got her, and it was too late." The investigation will be handled by the state Department of Marine Resources, Hargrove said.

Robin Fitzgerald, Sun Herald reporter, contributed to this story.

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