Body recovered in Lake Spivey drowning

By Greg Gelpi

The body of a local businessman missing in Lake Spivey since July 4 was recovered Saturday.

The Henry County Fire Department responded to a Saturday morning 911 call at about 10 a.m. and confirmed finding the body of Bill Costner, 55.

A couple noticed what they thought was a body while looking through binoculars and called 911, Henry County fire Capt. Sabrina Puckett said.

Costner's body was found in "close proximity" to where witnesses reported last seeing him go over the side of the boat he was driving, Puckett said.

The Stockbridge man was ejected as he sat on the edge of the boat when the boat "made a sharp turn at a high rate of speed," she said immediately after the man went missing.

He was on the lake with his fianc?e Janet Drosky and another couple watching the holiday fireworks.

Henry County Coroner Ronnie Stewart conducted an autopsy and reported that the cause of death appeared to be drowning.

Drosky and Costner owned and operated Sign-A-Rama. The couple, active in civic organizations in Henry and Clayton counties, is well-known in the metro Atlanta area because their company makes award plaques.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources had pulled divers out of the water, part of the search for Costner, about a week after his disappearance. Spokeswoman Melissa Cummings had said that crews would conduct morning and afternoon checks of the lake. Periodic fly-overs of the area would also be performed.

Dive teams from both counties searched the 500-acre manmade lake every day the week following his disappearance, using underwater cameras and sonar. The efforts found no sign of Costner.

Funeral services for Costner are set for three this afternoon at Ford-Stewart Funeral Home in Jonesboro.

The family is asking that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Rotary International Foundation, care of Clayton County Rotary Club, P.O. Box 111, Forest Park, Ga., 30050 or the Atlanta Apartment Association Food-A-Thon Can Can Ball, Atlanta Food Bank, 8601 Dunwoody Place, Atlanta, Ga., 30350.