Lauren Taylor Agee was a 21 year old girl born on August 19th 1993 in Biloxi in Mississippi. she lived with her mother Sherry and step father Michael in Tennessee along with her three siblings Allison, Jordan and Joshua. Lauren was known among her friends for being very funny ,bubbly , quick witted ,she was very lively she would be always singing and dancing . Her mother described her as full of sugar and a little bit of spice, she lit up every room she entered with her sweet spirit infectious energy and chanting smile and disarming dimple.
Lauren’s main passions were dance and sports, her love for sports resulted in a lot of medals when younger, Lauren use to copy a lot of music dancing videos in her living room , she starred in a music video when she was older, her love for dance resulted in a scholarship to Bethel University which she ended up turning down to study criminal justice in Vol State in Galladin. Lauren had a very good and active social life , a bright future ahead of her, a boyfriend and a lot of friends.
Lauren’s friend Hannah Palmer invited Lauren to attend a festival called “WAKEFEST” that summer. Wakefest is an annual summer wake boarding tournament the festival is held every year at Center hill lake in smithville . After telling her mother that Hannah had invited her to the festival sherry immediately had a bad feeling about it , the festival was known for it’s hardcore drinking, drugs and wild partying ,Sherry also didn’t think Hannah Palmer was a good friend to Lauren , she was what you call a convenient friend ,she would only spend time with Lauren only when it benefited her she would call her up mostly in times of boredom, as soon as she would get her boyfriend she would forget that Lauren even existed , so it was obvious where her priorities laid when it came to the friendship. Sherry wasn’t thrilled about the idea but at the end of the day her daughter’s happiness is what mattered the most to her so she decided to let her go . Before Lauren Left, Sherry’s bad feeling kicked in again , because she felt so worried Sherry made sure to hug Lauren one extra time squeezing her extra tight reminding her to be careful…and that was the last time She saw her daughter alive…
So Hannah and Lauren planned to stay in a cabin for wakefest, along with them was Hannah’s then boyfriend and now husband Aaron Lily , and his friend Christopher Stout who Lauren had just met. The whole time they were documenting from their excitement ,their expectations, the fun , the lake party ,Lily and Stout waterboarding on social media.
On 24th July 2015 after reaching the festival, the foursome spent the day drinking, watching the water sports and cliff diving which wasn’t very regulated, it was so bad that there were rocks below which where actually visible, people were diving fine and when it came to Lauren’s time she actually hit the back of her head on one of the rocks that became visible after the waves crashed over it ,Lauren passed out for a couple of minutes , her friends thought she had a concussion which was not the case, after that Lauren seemed fine and they all carried on, all four of them went drinking at this point Lauren was totally fine. At 2 Am the group decided to call it a night and go to bed, it was at this point that Lauren had found out that the sleeping arrangements were changed , instead of the cabin they were now supposed to camp in a cliff near the lake which wasn’t an official place to camp as the festival was renting out cabins, regardless people would still camp in that area , an area without signs nor safety regulations .The area where they were camping is a steep cliff side with a 90 foot drop on one side and a 45 foot drop on the other. The only way for them to get up there is to canoe across the lake to the outcrop and then use a rope to pull themselves up the steep terrain, avoiding trees, bushes, rocks and numerous ledges on their assent.
After finding out about the new sleeping arrangements Lauren wasn’t very happy with it, initially she wasn’t going to stay there, so she began looking for familiar faces in bars and throughout the festival area to ask if she could stay with them for that night, she ended up finding an old friend from High school called Cassie who was a regular attendee of the festival, Cassie shared with Lauren her experience camping in the area where Lauren was supposed to camp which wasn’t as pleasant nor did she feel safe in the area. Lauren asked Cassie If she could go back with them to their lodge and Cassie refused saying that it was full.
It was obvious that Lauren wasn’t prepared to camp in that area as all she had with her were Lauren didn’t appear to be prepared for camping outside in the elements. The only items she has with her are her sleeping bag, her phone and a change of clothes and the only shoes she has are flip-flops, which are hardly a suitable for that mountainous area, despite their conditions the group reaches the camp safe and sound. the boys had brought a tent For Aaron and Hannah and a Hammock in which Lauren and Stout were supposed to sleep. The hammock was suspended over that 90 foot drop the only thing keeping the hammock up was a piece of string on either side,Lauren who had a boyfriend was not happy with the arrangement and it was clear that she had no romantic interest in Chris,Lauren was more of a wing man , someone to keep Chris off so Hannah and Aaron could have some alone time.
In the next morning in 26th of July, when Chris ,Hannah and Aaron wake up , Lauren isn’t there , they assumed she woke up earlier and headed to the festival by herself, they didn’t report her missing because in their minds she had gone to the festival. as the day went on whilst going to different bars and spots Lauren was nowhere to be found , they spoke to her other friends including Cassie and no one had seen her.
Around 4:45 pm two fisherman were out in the lake when they spot what they thought to be pink shorts on closer inspection they found that the pink shorts were actually the dead body of a woman floating face down , Lauren Agee’s body. the Fishermen did not touch Lauren’s body nor did he check to see if she was still alive as they assumed she was already dead , they immediately called the police. The fishermen and the two police went to the place where the fishermen had seen the body , at that point those four people where the only people that knew that there was a body in the water, before they got to the body they found two men canoeing in the water in the same direction as they were going towards the body , so the police men told them to stop , and turn around and go away to which one of the men responded “but that could be one of our friends of there” the men in the canoe turned out to be Aaron Lily, this is when eyebrows raised toward the two men ,as police themselves hadn’t seen the body and the news were not broadcast-ed throughout the festival yet ,this is when their behavior is first called into question. One of the officers would later report that he believed this entire encounter was staged and the boys knew where the body was long before the police did . Police was also concerned about the fact that Lauren was gone for 12 hours and no one had reported her missing her missing until that moment.
Lauren’s body was found near a cove near the land ,which was far from the camp, not a place where she could have fallen herself ,as she had fallen anywhere else the current of the water was going the opposite way that day meaning it wouldn’t have carried her anywhere near where she was found. Which brings to the theory that she was killed. The boys are questioned by the officers, who described their demeanor as nervous and unsympathetic (this could be down to shock or distrust of law enforcement ). After discovering the body, the three friends are taken by boat to the mainland for further questioning and this is where their stories begin to diverge. Aaron says Lauren never made it back to the camp with them after leaving the bar (despite all her things being found there) while Hannah claims Lauren left the campsite in the early hours of the morning, getting into a boat with some random boys. She stated that she saw all of Lauren’s personal items under the hammock and so assumed she had gone to meet other people, but would be back to collect her things, so she wasn’t too worried. Chris states he believes Lauren got up in the middle of the night, but he didn’t feel her leaving the hammock, despite their differing accounts of where Lauren went, they all claim they woke up later that morning and Lauren was nowhere to be found. However, they decided not to report her disappearance to police or make any real effort to look for her, because they assumed she went off with other people . This entire conversation between the three friends and the police takes place on the boat to the mainland, and the officers describe the trio as being very nervous throughout, whispering to each other constantly, with Aaron repeatedly saying “don’t mention anything, I’ll do the talking
Lauren’s body was removed out of the water and taken for an autopsy there were marks of bruisers on the top of her back and her shoulders, and there were also bruisers on her breast in the shape of bite mark, which wasn’t vertical like how you would imagine if someone was sexually assaulted , this bite mark was made sideways as if they had reached out to her body from the side a bite her ,and because of this kind of this bite mark the police that recovered the body suggested to the police that took the body for autopsy to make a rape kit on Lauren’s body because a bite mark on the breast usually is a sign of rape, but no rape kit was done on Lauren’s body , no DNA test nothing despite everything. the reason they didn’t do a rape kit on Lauren’s body was because she was wearing a tampon so she could possibly not have been sexually assaulted, which is not completely true . –I don’t think a rapist would care whether she was on her periods or not which she wasn’t. theories say that it could have been a decoy by the rapist, it could also been a preventive measure as she was in a water sport event.
The clothes that Lauren was found in were not hers according to her mom, and she didn’t look as if she had dressed herself . They did a blood test on Lauren and it was discovered that her blood alcohol level was twice above the legal limit , no drugs found in her systems, she didn’t seem to be blackout drunk and according to her friends Lauren handled alcohol well, during the autopsy they concluded that the marks in her body were a result of her fall ,there was some crushing in her throat and pathologist believe they were a result of her fall into a rock although a lot a lot of people believe it was a result of strangulation.
Despite these inconsistencies, officials rule the death as accidental and state no foul play is suspected. They speculate that Lauren fell off the cliff while drunk, hit the side of the cliff as she fell, causing her injuries, and then suffered blunt force trauma when she entered the water, due to the force of her fall.
Lauren’s mother is notified of her daughter’s death, and asks to speak to her friends, however she is informed by authorities that they were questioned and released. Sherry is very concerned by this, but she initially feels she has little evidence to go on, and so refrains from demanding further investigation. However she soon begins to question why Lauren’s friends had not called the police when they realized she was missing. Sherry reports she is then contacted by one of the officers who was at the scene that day, who states he does suspect foul play in her daughter’s case. He relays the full details of the three friends’ odd behavior and when she hears they all gave different stories, she becomes upset and requests a reexamination of the case, but this is denied.
Kassie Franks reported she was equally as disturbed by the circumstances surrounding Lauren’s death and attempted to voice her concerns to authorities. She informed them that while she was dating Aaron Lilly, he was violent towards her and she produced photographs of her injuries. He was arrested on charges of domestic violence, for biting and choking her during an altercation. She reveals Chris Stout also had a record, and had been charged with 3 DUI, including one for fleeing the scene of an accident. However the police still insist that Lauren’s death was due to misadventure and until this day, are refusing to investigate further.
Lauren’s mother filed a wrongful death suit, which was later dropped, but during this time a new witness came forward. He was staying with his family at Center Hill Lake on the weekend of Wake-fest and alleges that after midnight on the night in question, he witnessed a young man swimming towards the marina dock. The youth climbed onto the dock and appeared to be in great distress and seemed worn out, claiming he had nearly drowned while trying to swim to the dock. The witness now claims that the young man he saw that night was Aaron Lilly, and if this is the case it seems to contradict the trio’s statement that they were already on their way back to their campsite by this time.
I will be adding another article with the theories surrounding this case and my thoughts on it, but I really believe the case didn’t get the attention nor investigation that it deserved. Do add any updates on the case if you have any .
Rest in peace Lauren Agee…