Krista Lee Philemon Jumped Off A Boat And Mysteriously Drowned — Here's What We Know About This Mysterious Death

What really happened to Krista?

How Did Krista Lee Philemon Die? New Details On The NC Woman Who Mysteriously Drowned When She Jumped Off A Boat Instagram

There are some deaths that are, quite simply, too mysterious for words. Investigators have announced that there are plenty of "unanswered questions" involving the death of this North Carolina woman, who jumped off of a boat and into a lake in South Carolina — then mysteriously drowned. How did Krista Lee Philemon die?

Here's what we know about her death. 


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1. She was vacationing with friends. 

According to The New York Post, Krista Lee Philemon was vacationing with her friends on Wateree Lake, SC, and a few of them all decided to jump off the boat and into the lake. When Krista didn't emerge, her friends called 911. And that's when tragedy struck. 

"After an extensive search involving multiple agencies, her body was recovered just before 7 a.m. Tuesday by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the department said in a tweet. The Kershaw County coroner has since confirmed her identity," reported the outlet, who added that it was "very difficult" to try to find the body because of how deep and murky the lake is.


Krista Lee Philemon's death is a mystery. 

2. Krista Lee Philemon was on a pontoon boat. 

A pontoon boat is, according to, enjoying a bit of a "renaissance" amongst boating enthusiasts. It's considered a "party boat" because of how it's set up, and there's suggestion Krista Lee Philemon may have been "partying" when she jumped off of it and into the lake. 


However, according to My Fox 8, authorities couldn't recover her body until Tuesday — even though she'd disappeared 2 days prior — which suggested that there was a lot more to the story than they were originally told. 

Krista Lee Philemon was on a pontoon boat. 


3. Her friends described her as a "good-hearted person." 

For what it's worth, Krista Lee Philemon was a well-liked person, and her death hit her friends hard. Jaime McDonald, who was a friend of Krista's, said she was "heartbroken" by her friend's sudden death. 

"She never made anyone feel like they didn’t, weren’t a part, or they shouldn’t, they weren’t loved, basically. And it’s a shame that the people that didn’t have the chance to meet her won’t ever get to see that. I felt like she had finally gotten to a point in her life that she had found a balance and happiness. She just was a good-hearted person and I know a lot of people will say stuff like that once people pass, but this is genuine with her. I mean she really, she was as kind and sweet and good-hearted as you would ever find someone," she said to WIS-10 News, the local NBC affiliate.

Krista Lee Philemon was well-loved.


4. Krista Lee Philemon was a top honors student, and recently founded a non-profit. 

According to WSOC-TV, Krista Lee Philemon was also a beloved member of her community. She graduated at the top of her class in high school, and recently founded a non-profit organization. 

"Family members said she loved painting and recently founded the nonprofit Painting with a Purpose, which raised hundreds of dollars to help local charities. Officials with Kershaw County Fire Services, the Kershaw County Emergency Management Services, the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, and Fairfield County Fire Rescue were on hand to help with the search. The coroner confirmed the cause of death was drowning," reported the outlet.

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5. Investigators don't suspect foul play. 

In what should be small comfort for Krista Lee Philemon's family, investigators don't suspect that she was murdered, according to The State.


"Officials said Philemon was visiting friends in the area, and she was not wearing a life jacket when her body was found Tuesday, per WIS. There is no indication of foul play, according to officials. Lake Wateree is 30 miles northeast of Columbia and has 216 miles of shoreline, according to DNR. While the average depth of the lake is 6.9 feet, the water goes as far down as about 225 feet in its deepest spot, per DNR. Capt. Robert McCullough said it has been a year or two since there was a DNR water recovery at Lake Wateree," reported the outlet.

6. But they still can't understand what happened to Krista Lee Philemon. 

According to WLTX, the local CBS affiliate, even though investigators don't think Krista Lee Philemon was murdered, they don't understand how this all could have happened. 

"Multiple agencies were involved in the search including the Camden and Kershaw Counties Rescue Squad. Camden Fire Chief John Bowers said they had a team of about eight divers searching. "There are a lot of unanswered questions we don't understand," Bowers said." We don't know why this happened," he said, according to the outlet.


Our thoughts are with Krista Lee Philemon's family during this difficult time.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.