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Wauconda first responders recover body of 9-year-old who fell into Bangs Lake

Bangs Lake in Wauconda was closed Saturday morning while divers and sonar technicians searched for a missing 9-year-old boy whose body was recovered about noon.
Bangs Lake in Wauconda was closed Saturday morning while divers and sonar technicians searched for a missing 9-year-old boy whose body was recovered about noon.

The Wauconda Fire District has recovered the body of a boy who fell off a paddleboat and into Bangs Lake on Friday night.

About 7:20 p.m., two boys were out paddleboating on Bangs Lake in Wauconda.

The kids had been playing in the neighborhood when they came across the boats and decided to go out onto the water, officials said.

The two panicked because of the strong wind and rough water conditions, and they jumped into the lake to swim back to shore, police said.

Nearby fishermen overheard screaming. They pulled an 11-year-old boy out of the water and took him to shore. First responders could not initially locate the second boy, who was identified as Geraldo Rodriguez, 9.

The district called for assistance from divers and sonar technicians. The effort was switched from rescue to recovery about 10:30 p.m. Friday, police said.

The search continued until about
3 a.m., according to a news release from the district.

“First responders with close ties to the community struggled with the thought of having to end the search last night due to lighting and weather conditions,” Wauconda Fire Chief David Geary wrote in the release. “Responders reconvened first thing [Saturday] morning.”

The sonar team found the boy’s body about noon Saturday near the deepest part of the lake, which is about 30 feet deep, officials said. The water is about
45 degrees, and the surviving child is being treated for hypothermia, officials said.

Bangs Lake was closed while the effort was underway.

Crews from Lake Zurich, Barrington, Long Grove, Round Lake, Fox Lake, Countryside, Grayslake, McHenry Township, Crystal Lake, Buffalo Grove, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Mundelein, Cary, Nunda Rural, Gurnee, Newport, Huntley, Fox River Grove, Richmond and Wonder Lake assisted during the incident.

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