Divers’ Search for Missing 9-Year-Old Boy Continues at Bangs Lake in Wauconda

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Authorities in northwest suburban Wauconda say one of two boys who fell overboard from a paddle boat Friday evening is still missing.

Search and rescue efforts continued until about 2:38 a.m. Saturday and resumed this morning about 7:37 a.m. for a 9-year-old boy that went overboard from a paddleboat and was missing in Bangs Lake in Wauconda since about 7:20 p.m. Friday night.  The boy’s identity was released as Geraldo Rodriguez Jr.

Fire Department search teams are using drones and side sonar radar to try to find the boy near the Lakeview Villa Beach on the north side of Bangs Lake. 

Police said Rodriguez and a friend, 10, had been on the lake in a paddleboat, and went overboard into the water and screamed for help. Nearby fishermen were able to pull the 10-year-old boy out of the water before emergency crews arrived, but high winds and rough water pushed Geraldo out towards the center of Bangs Lake. 

Wauconda Fire Department’s Chief Mike DaValle said the boy’s parents said they did not know their son was out on the lake when the incident occurred. Geraldo’s aunt Angie Bakewell, at the scene, said the family did not allow Geraldo to play in the water.

“As you can image they’re very distraught; they’re looking for closure, which its completely understandable. So, we’re gonna do our best to give them the closure they need and deserve today,” said Wauconda Fire Chief DaValle. 

The boy’s family is also searching for him on land near the shore, hoping he will be found safely. 

“We haven’t slept, none of us have slept. We were driving around last night just looking on the shore, hoping that he’s out there somewhere and we were going to find him.” said Angie Bakewell. 

Bakewell said that a birthday party was scheduled for Geraldo Saturday. 

“Sunday was his birthday, today was supposed to be his birthday party,” Bakewell said. “We were supposed to be celebrating his birthday party today. It was just an accident.” 

Fire officials reported that the 10-year-old boy did not sustain any life threatening injuries. 

Wauconda Police Department alerted the public on Facebook and Twitter that Bangs Lake is closed while recovery efforts continue.


UPDATE: Family of 9-year-old boy missing in Bangs Lake in Wauconda speak: https://abc7.ws/2veu80Q

Posted by ABC 7 Chicago on Saturday, April 20, 2019



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