Body of swimmer missing since Monday found off Beverly Shores
By Maria Amante firstname.lastname@example.org/648-3072 June 23, 2012 4:20PM
Updated: June 23, 2012 7:51PM
The body of 31-year-old Leonel Dominguez, the man who went missing June 18 in Lake Michigan, has been found.
Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said that he was called to the scene at 3:21 p.m. Saturday after a boater found Dominguez’s body in the lake near Beverly Shores.
Dominguez was found near South Shore Avenue in Beverly Shores, about 400 yards from shore by Paul Piotrowski of Beverly Shores. Beverly Shores Fire Chief Andy Himan was at the scene and said when he arrived, crews were able to see Dominguez’s body bobbing up and down in the water about a quarter mile from shore.
“He was wearing the right clothing and matched the description (of the missing person’s report),” Himan said.
Dominguez and his friend, Evelyn Hernandez, were swimming in the lake at least 100 feet from shore at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Monday afternoon. (http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/porter/13269399-418/story.html) The pair decided to head back to shore in 35 mph winds and 3-foot waves while traveling on a raft.
Dominguez attempted to tow the raft back to shore by swimming, but he made little progress and tired. He tried to jump back into the raft with Hernandez, but it flipped and ejected her, then floated away, leaving them to swim back to shore.
Hernandez was rescued by a U.S. Marine, Nick Dominguez of Lockport, Ill., who heard her cries for help. Nick Dominguez is not related to Leonel Dominguez. Nick Dominguez helped Hernandez get to a sandbar where she could stand and went to search for Leonel but could not find him.
A U.S. Coast Guard boat found the raft floating in water about 21 feet deep a few hours after the incident.
Divers and crews in boats and a helicopter searched the area to help locate Leonel Dominguez.
Himan said this sort of incident happens frequently.
“People just don’t realize what this lake can do to them,” he said.