Girl’s body found; Family: ‘We finally got closure’

Richland County officials say body of juvenile female was found Thursday

Family members confirm that the body of 5-year-old Angela Girton was found Thursday.

Richland County officials said that with a babysitter’s permission, Angela and three other children left a babysitter’s house April 6 and traveled down to the Wisconsin River to have a picnic. At some point Angela reportedly fell in the water and her sibling and another child were unsuccessful when they linked arms and tried to reach her with a stick.

Angela’s grandfather, Harry Christianson, told News 8’s sister station, WISC the family was meeting in Lone Rock Thursday night.

“I got the call that they found her. There were no details until we got down to the Lone Rock Fire Department. We were assured that a local homeowner had found her about five or six feet away from the shore while he was spraying for some poison ivy,” said Jessica Christianson, Angela’s aunt.

Jessica Christianson said the family wanted to thank everyone that has been part of the search effort to try and find Angela.

“It’s an awesome feeling deep down inside that we finally got closure,” she said.

Richland County Chief Deputy Chad Kanable said the sheriff’s department received a 911 call around 5:50 p.m. Thursday from a citizen reporting that he saw what he believed to be a body floating in the Wisconsin River.

Kanable said when deputies responded to the area they found and recovered the body of a juvenile female near the Village of Port Andrew.

Richland County Emergency Management and the Lone Rock Fire Department along with DNR wardens searched parts of the Wisconsin river near Gotham for Angela. They used boats, a drone, an airplane and a Madison police cadaver dog to search the area where Angela went in the water.

Angela has been remembered as an active and happy 5-year-old, who just celebrated a birthday on April 1.

Richland County Emergency Management officials said crews had been out searching over the weekend for Angela, and were out as recently as Thursday afternoon before the body was found.

Richland County officials said they plan to release more information Friday afternoon.