Search continues for Hammond man feared drowned in Newton Co.

2014-07-21T16:30:00Z 2014-07-22T07:17:04Z Search continues for Hammond man feared drowned in Newton Co.Times Staff nwitimes.com
July 21, 2014 4:30 pm  • 

MOROCCO | Recovery crews planned to continue searching until dark Monday for the body of a Hammond man believed to have drowned last weekend in JC Murphy Lake at Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area.

If Saul Lopez, 24, is not found, crews will resume the search Tuesday morning, IDNR Conservation Officer Terri Arlandson said.

"We're just going to continue on," Arlandson said. "The family has been here. We're just trying to bring them some closure."

Several fire departments and the Lake County Sheriff's Department helicopter assisted in Monday's search, Arlandson said.

Lopez was floating on a rubber raft with a friend at the Newton County lake when the raft began to lose air from a hole caused by a puncture, according to a news release from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division.

Lopez and another person on the raft tried to use oars to navigate back to shore before he jumped into the water to try to push it to the shoreline.

Witnesses said Lopez swam for a short while before disappearing under the water about 7 p.m. He did not resurface.

Lopez and his friend were not wearing life jackets, the release said.

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