Lincolnton woman drowns in Lake Norman

Lincoln County authorities say a woman apparently drowned just a few feet from the end of a pier in Lake Norman on Tuesday afternoon.

The sheriff’s office has identified the victim as Elisabeth Anna Burford, 36, of Lincolnton. She drowned in a cove near the 4600 block of Mitchell Lane, off Webbs Chapel Road in Denver.

Authorities said Burford was in the water with a friend Tuesday afternoon, but the friend told investigators that he went into the house briefly. When he came out, Burford was missing.

The man called 911 about 4:15 p.m., setting off a search that involved the Denver, East Lincoln and Sherrills Ford fire departments, along with N.C. Wildlife Resources, Lincoln County EMS and the sheriff’s office.

The search ended about 6:40 p.m., when Burford’s body was found near the end of the pier. According to several reports, Burford was not wearing a life jacket but had a flotation device. It was not clear if she knew how to swim.