East Aurora High student missing after being swept into Lake Michigan

  • East Aurora High School senior Ivan Echevarria, 18, is missing after being swept into Lake Michigan Thursday morning.

    East Aurora High School senior Ivan Echevarria, 18, is missing after being swept into Lake Michigan Thursday morning. Courtesy of East Aurora District 131

Daily Herald report
Updated 2/26/2016 10:24 AM

A search will continue today for an 18-year-old East Aurora High School student who was swept into Lake Michigan Thursday morning, according to officials.

Chicago Police Department Spokesman Jose Estrada said firefighters and the police department marine unit were dispatched to Diversey Harbor around 11:40 a.m. Thursday to search for a teenager who had fallen into the water.


East Aurora District 131 confirmed Friday that senior Ivan Echevarria was the victim, and grief counselors were available to meet with his classmates this week. According to the Chicago Fire Department, Echevarria and a friend were walking near Lake Michigan Thursday morning when Echevarria was swept into the lake. Four fire department divers searched the lake for an hour, but extreme turbulence postponed the search.

Estrada said conditions improved in the afternoon and crews searched again, but there has been no success in locating Echevarria. There are plans for crews to continue a recovery operation Friday, dependent on water conditions.

Echevarria was the youngest of four siblings and passionate about cars and computers, according to a news release.

"He had one of those personalities that attracted people," East Aurora High School staff member Kim Kereluik said in a statement. "He had that 'it' factor; he won people over."

High school officials said Echevarria was interested in working in information technology or as a mechanic. He had met with counselor Brian Melvin a few weeks ago to talk about graduation and future goals.

"He was a quiet kid but very popular," Melvin said in a statement. "He was a normal high school kid who wanted to be successful. This is very sad that this happened."

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