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posted: 7/18/2011 7:16 AM

6-year-old Illinois girl dies at NW Ind. beach

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Associated Press

GARY, Ind. -- The mother of a 6-year-old suburban Chicago girl says she didn't realize lifeguards were no longer on duty at the northwestern Indiana beach where her daughter drowned.

Gary police say Marche Wilburn was pronounced dead at a hospital soon after being found in the water of Lake Michigan Saturday evening.

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Toshia Donerson-Wilburn of Robbins, Ill., says she and some friends brought nine children to the beach and that she noticed her daughter missing a couple of hours later when telling some of them to stay closer to shore.

She tells the Post-Tribune that she believes her daughter might have been trying to follow the older youths out into the water and that she wouldn't have allowed her children in the water if she'd known the lifeguards had gone off duty.

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