A 7-year-old Chicago boy drowned after he was swept away while playing in Lake Michigan along northwestern Indiana’s shoreline during hazardous beach conditions, authorities said Friday.
The boy was pulled from the lake Thursday evening in Porter County and taken to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said.
An autopsy was completed Friday morning and the boy’s cause of death was ruled an accidental drowning, the DNR said in a news release. His name was not released, pending notification of relatives.
The DNR said the boy was reported missing about 4:50 p.m. CDT Thursday in waters near the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Beach. Responders from multiple agencies found him about 20 minutes later near Ogden Dunes.
The DNR said the child was playing in waist-deep water before he entered deeper water. A witness reported that it appeared the child was caught in a current that pulled him away from shore.
A relative who entered the water to try to rescue the boy also got caught in a current and lost sight of the child. The DNR said a beach hazard statement from the National Weather Service was in effect at the time of the incident, which Indiana conservation officers continue to investigate.