Body found at Waukegan Harbor confirmed as missing Grayslake North student's

  • Matthew "Mateo" Garcia, show here at his eighth-grade graduation at age 14, went missing in Lake Michigan in January after jumping in to try to save a friend.

    Matthew "Mateo" Garcia, show here at his eighth-grade graduation at age 14, went missing in Lake Michigan in January after jumping in to try to save a friend. Courtesy of Susan Medina

 
By Henry Redman
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 4/16/2019 6:36 AM

A body that had been found last week on the lakefront in Waukegan has been identified as that of a missing Grayslake North High School student, according to a news release Monday from the Lake County coroner's office.

The body was found around 8:30 a.m. Thursday and later identified as Matthew "Matteo" Garcia, according to the release.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Garcia, a 16-year-old from Grayslake, went missing around 4:30 p.m. Jan. 18 after he jumped into the lake to help a friend who had fallen in.

Two nearby police officers were able to save Garcia's friend, but not Garcia. The search for his body has been ongoing since then, having to be postponed several times due to icy conditions on the lake.

Preliminary autopsy results indicated he drowned, the release said.

Mother Susan Medina posted on GoFundMe, "It is with sorrow and joy that we are able to announce that our beloved Matthew's body has been recovered."

The GoFundMe page was created to establish a scholarship in Garcia's name to help other Grayslake North students.

"We would like to thank the Waukegan Fire Department, Waukegan Police and Sheriff Officers for their diligent work and the support they provided during this difficult time," she wrote. "Our faith gives us comfort knowing that Matthew is in a better place."

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