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Woman’s Body Pulled From Lake Michigan Near Lake Forest

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A U.S. Coast Guard boat and a local fire rescue boat search Lake Michigan for the body of a woman who had been reported missing from Lake Forest on July 15, 2012. (Credit: CBS)

A U.S. Coast Guard boat and a local fire rescue boat search Lake Michigan for the body of a woman who had been reported missing from Lake Forest on July 15, 2012. (Credit: CBS)

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) – A missing woman’s body was recovered from Lake Michigan on Sunday after a seven-hour search near north suburban Lake Forest.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports the victim’s identity hasn’t been released yet, but police believe she was a 44-year-old woman whose husband reported her missing early Sunday morning when he woke up and found her gone.

A flotilla of rescue boats searched the waters off Lake Forest’s beach Sunday morning – most of them from surrounding fire departments, and one from the U.S. Coast Guard.

But it was a coast guard helicopter that finally spotted the woman’s body about two-and-a-half miles offshore, late Sunday morning.

That brought to an end to a more than seven-hour search that began before dawn.

Lake Forest Acting Police Chief James Held said, “Approximately 3:30 this morning, one of our officers was driving through the park here, and was flagged down by a gentleman who said his wife was missing. He was out looking for her and just happened to see her car parked in the parking lot here.”

Authorities summoned a canine unit from Highland Park to assist in the search. Thermal imaging equipment checked the bushes, the rocks, and the shallow water, but authorities found nothing in Forest Park beach.

Held said the husband wasn’t able to tell them exactly how long his wife had been missing.

“He didn’t know, because he woke up, and she was missing from their bedroom, so he didn’t know what time she had left,” Held said.

When police found a sarong on the beach – which the husband said might belong to his missing wife – authorities had reason to believe the woman might have gone into the water.

Around 8 a.m., a lake search began, on the water and in the air. A little more than two hours later, the woman’s body was discovered off the beach that village boosters call the crown jewel of Lake Forest.

“It is, it’s beautiful,” said Lake Forest resident Ed Kriege. “But, you know, bad things can happen anywhere, even on a beautiful beach like this.”

About 20 north suburban agencies contributed manpower, boats and divers to the search. According to the Lake County Coroner’s office, an autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

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