CHICAGO (CBS) — Search teams have located the body of a woman who vanished in Lake Michigan near Gary, Indiana. Rescue teams say they found the body of 24-year-old Tiara Hardy around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Hardy went missing Monday around 7:25 p.m. when she went swimming with friends at Marquette Park Beach. Officials believe high waves swept her away and she never surfaced. Onlookers were able to rescue another female and male from the water.
Indiana Conservation Officer Tyler Brock said, in a press conference, officers located an object under the water using side-scan sonar equipment. The Lake County Marine Unit also saw the object on their sonar devices. Divers confirmed it was the body of a female black woman matching Hardy’s description.
The Lake County Coroner confirmed the body as that of Tiara Hardy.
Gary Beach Control says her body was found about a quarter mile west of where she was last seen, approximately 150 yards off the shore. Officials say she was found toward the bottom of the lake.
The Gary Fire Department said there were reports of three to four foot waves and strong rip currents at the time Hardy went missing.
Officials warn to keep an eye on beach hazard statements and the weather. If the lake looks rough, stay out of it. They want to remind swimmers to pay close attention to the advisories and flags posted near bodies of water.
Lifeguards patrol the beach between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., but were not on duty at the time Hardy was in the water.
At the time Hardy was swimming, the National Weather Service had issued a beach hazards statement due to dangerous waves and currents along the Indiana lakeshore.
Multiple fire departments, marine units, and other agencies assisted with the search, including the Lake County Marine Unit and Hobart Dive Teams, the Portage Marine Unit, the Indiana Conservation Division, the Lake County Aviation Unit, the U. S. Coast Guard, and the Hobart Police Department
Those who monitor drownings in the Great Lakes say so far this year, 12 other people have drown in Lake Michigan. They say the number is lower than average, but with more people drawn to the lake during the summer months, that number could rise.