Local News

Jun 16, 2014 5:49 PM by Janine Reyes

Father's Day Tragedy on Lake Corpus Christi

MATHIS -- The search for a couple out on Lake Corpus Christi ended in tragedy today. Crews began their search yesterday afternoon and continued searching this morning.

The bodies were recovered around noon today.

Search crews started around 10 a.m. today, hoping to find Ronni Jean Renfro and her boyfriend, Marshall Shambo.

Julia George, Ronni's aunt who raised her, spent the morning waiting for that moment.

After hours of searching, they did find them. First Ronni, then Marshall shortly after.

"Its sad that they went together, but its good that they went together, that's what they would have wanted," George said.

Ronni Jean spent the last few years working at Buddy's Place, a bar her aunt owns in the Calallen area. Family and friends gathered there this afternoon as news spread of the recovery of both bodies.

This weekend, the couple spent Father's Day in the lake on their new boat.

Marshall's kids came along. When his five year old daughter needed to go to the restroom, they held her in the water over the boat.

She did have a life jacket on, but with the wind and the water current, she started to drift away. Her dad did what most parents would do. "He jumped in to get a hold of the little girl and was maybe struggling and then Ronni Jean jumped in next," George told us, recounting what the children reported.

A jet skier found the little girl about 200 yards from the boat, Marshall's 8-year-old son was still inside. Both kids are not hurt.

Marshall's daughter told officers she heard her father say "we're going to die."

Ronni Jean lost her husband in a car accident involving a drunk driver 5 years ago. Her aunt says she wasn't supposed to survive that. She also lost her mother during the same time frame. She tells us Ronni Jean finally found love and that makes this tragedy that much harder for those who knew her.

"She had a big big heart, it was hidden a lot through tragedies in her life, but it was never hidden to people that needed her or that she could help," George said.

The two children were wearing life jackets. It appears Marshall and Ronni Jean did not have life jackets on.

San Patricio County Sheriff Leroy Moody says there are a lot of tree branches in the lake and that can be a danger for anyone in the water.


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