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Porter, Indiana. – National park rangers were notified Saturday afternoon, August 2 that a teenage boy was reported missing in Lake Michigan at the Porter Beach area of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. A search and rescue effort was immediately launched. The effort grew to include multiple agencies and included water, air, and land-based units. The search continued throughout the remainder of the day and through this morning with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) taking the lead.
At approximately 5:55 a.m. this morning, August 5, the body of Rafael Palomar, 13, from Chicago, Illinois was recovered by searchers at the Indiana Dunes State Park. An autopsy will be performed by the Porter County Coroner's Office today to officially determine the cause of death. No additional details are available at this time. An investigation is being conducted by the National Park Service.
In addition to the national lakeshore and the DNR, others assisting in the search and recovery were the Indiana State Police, Portage Fire Department, Indiana Dunes State Park, U.S. Coast Guard, Porter County Sheriff's Department, Lake County Sheriff's Department, police from the cities of Gary and Hobart, the American Red Cross, and dive teams from Porter County, Lake of the Four Seasons, and the state police.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 391 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore includes 15 miles of the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan and 15,000 acres of beach, woods, marshes, and prairie in the northwest corner of Indiana. More than 2 million visitors come to this national park each year. More information on the park can be found at www.nps.gov/INDU.
For additional information, contact public information officer, Bruce Rowe, at 219-395-1622.