CHICAGO (CBS)– The bodies of two men who had been missing since Sunday were pulled from DuSable Harbor on Tuesday, hours after a car plunged into the lake.
Police late Tuesday afternoon said it was all a horrible accident.
As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reported, police said detectives investigating the disappearance of 22-year-old Joseph Ramos and 21-year-old Antonio Lemon tracked a cell phone to DuSable Harbor early Tuesday morning.
Police sources also told us multiple pod cameras near Lake Shore Drive and DuSable Harbor recorded a car rolling into Lake Michigan.
Police sealed the area near Randolph Drive and immediately, family members of Joseph Ramos and Antonio Lemon arrived – gathering three blocks away at Monroe Harbor.
The wait before dawn Tuesday morning was agonizing.
“We want to know where they are,” said Ramos’ godmother, Elizabeth Bautista. “We’re worried sick. There’s a knot in our throats. It feels like it’s choking us.”
Ramos and Lemon were last seen leaving LITE Chicago, a River North nightclub, at 2:49 a.m. Sunday.
Family members said the men started their Saturday evening in Bucktown at Cortland’s Garage, 1645 W. Cortland St.
The evening ended, to the men’s families knowledge, a few miles away at LITE Chicago, 215 W. Ontario St.
A friend in the Police Department told the family the car Ramos and Lemon were in, a dark blue Dodge Avenger, was picked up on a city camera here at LaSalle and Washington streets right in the Loop. But the men were not seen again afterward.
Since the men were last seen, there had been urgent pleas to find them that went out on social media and on foot.
Family members spent all day Monday retracing the pair’s steps and posting missing person fliers in hopes of finding any clues to help discover why they disappeared.
“I just want to bring him home,” Ramos’ brother, Danny, told CBS 2’s Tara Molina on Monday night.
Danny Ramos said it was unlike Joey to just take off without a word.
“This is not normal,” Danny Ramos said Tuesday. “Not normal behavior for him at all.”
Joey Ramos and Tony Lemon had been close friends for years, united by sports.
“They played travel baseball together; football,” said Joey’s aunt, Carmen Alvarado.
It was 9:15 a.m. Tuesday when the police Marine Unit pulled two bodies from inside the submerged car in DuSable Harbor. That was well before the men had been identified, but still, family members screamed and cried as they watched a live feed on their phones.
Some collapsed to the ground.
An hour later, crews pulled the car from the lake near the empty boat docks. There are no barricades to keep a car from going into the harbor.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office positively identified the bodies pulled from the lake as those of Ramos and Lemon.
From the medical examiner’s office: the bodies of two young men pulled from a car in Lake Michigan have been identified. Joseph Ramos, 22; Antonio Lemon, 21. They had been missing since early Sunday morning. @cbschicago. pic.twitter.com/72Fv26a6zz
— Jim Williams (@JimWilliamsCBS2) November 19, 2019
And ultimately, the Ramos and Lemon families were thankful for those who supported their search for two young men – close friends who died together.
“All the families, friends that helped us – anybody that helped us share the word out there – thank you,” said Tony Lemon’s mother, Catalina Lemon.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted Tuesday afternoon that investigators have determined there was no foul play in Ramos and Lemon’s deaths.
Tragic update from this mornings sunken vehicle in Lake Michigan. Investigators determined there is no foul play & this was a horrific accident after car appears to lose control & drive into the lake at a high rate of speed. Our heartfelt condolences go to all those affected. pic.twitter.com/mjD9CCnnXV
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) November 19, 2019
“(T)his was a horrific accident after car appears to lose control and drive into the lake at a high rate of speed,” he tweeted. “Our heartfelt condolences go to all those affected.”