Portage man drowns at campground lake
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent August 19, 2014 7:16PM
Updated: September 22, 2014 12:12PM
PORTAGE — A Portage man drowned Tuesday in Lake Minnehaha at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort on the city’s north side, authorities said.
Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris identified the man as Charles Gritton, 52, and said he will conduct an autopsy and toxicology testing Wednesday morning.
Dive teams from the Portage, Chesterton and Porter fire departments responded about 3 p.m. to the lake at the campground, at 5300 Old Porter Road, after a 911 call from Gritton’s girlfriend, according to the Portage Fire Department.
The woman told authorities that the pair rented a campsite Monday evening, and she had not heard from Gritton since 10:30 a.m. Tuesday when he told her he was going for a walk and a swim.
Rescue crews found a car at the campsite with Gritton’s clothes and wallet inside.
The Porter Fire Department’s search dog found a possible point of entry for Gritton into the water, according to authorities. They said divers searched the far west end of the lake in an organized pattern and found Gritton’s body about 5 p.m., approximately 110 feet from the shore in water that was about 20 feet deep.
The Portage Police Department assisted with the investigation.