Reporting Susanna Song
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UPDATED 05/25/12 11:33 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Divers pulled a 15-year-old girl’s body from Lake Michigan Friday morning, about 16 hours after she vanished off the coast of Rogers Park.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reported around 10:50 a.m. that rescue teams pulled the body of Lexie Adu from the lake, and loaded the body on a police Marine Unit boat.
Police and fire officials were expected to hold a news conference around 11 a.m. Divers were packing up and leaving the scene in the meantime.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, Lexie had been dangling their feet in the water early Thursday evening with two other teenage girls at Loyola Park Beach, at Greenleaf Avenue, and had been playing near an offshore breakwall when a wave washed them into the lake.
Lexie’s father, Frank Adu, and her aunt, Margaret Ennin, were completely shocked over the loss.
“She was a very good kid. Very good kid; straight A student, and she’ just too sweet,” Frank Adu said. “I don’t know what happened.”
“Lexie’s such a sweet little girl. She’s like an outgoing, God-fearing person; respect, and happy; always smiling, so everybody liked her,” Ennin said.
Adu and Ennin collapsed in the sand on the beach when a fire captain told them Lexie’s body had been found a short time later. They were taken to a Fire Department ambulance.
Lexie’s mother was taken to the hospital Thursday night, grief-stricken over the disappearance.
Emergency responders were called to the scene at 6 p.m. Thursday. Two of the girls were pulled out or made it back, and one was taken to St. Francis Hospital, where she was in good to fair condition, while the other lingered for a while on the beach, awaiting word about her missing friend.
Divers continued searching for Lexie for much of the night and through late Friday morning.
Roger Concepcion was hanging out at the beach Thursday evening, when he noticed the three girls in the lake. He said he thought the current was too strong for the water to be safe.
“When I got over here, I saw this girl struggling over there, and I went and climbed and onto the other side of the wall, where the current was not too strong, so I swim out there to help her out,” Concepcion said.
Concepcion was able to rescue the girl who was hospitalized, while the other girl made it back to shore. But no one could find Lexie.
“The air temperature is really warm. The water temperature is still only about 60 degrees. That’s cold water,” said Fire Chief Ron Domeker. “So the winds were really bad today also, which caused some bad waves. So between the cold water and the waves, that’s some dangerous conditions to deal with.”
Dive teams went in and searched Lake Michigan. The U.S. Coast Guard sent its helicopter up late Thursday night looking for any signs of Lexie.
“They were just people who were trying to have fun at the beach, and unfortunately, something like this had to happen,” said witness Christine Hernandez.
Lexie is a student at St. Scholastica Academy, and wanted to become a doctor. Grief counselors on hand at the school Friday morning.
There was no lifeguard at the beach at the time, because lifeguards did not take their posts until the beaches officially opened Friday.