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Body recovered from Chicago beach identified as missing boater, medical examiner says

Body recovered from Chicago beach identified as missing boater, medical examiner says

CHICAGO — More than a month after a man went missing when a boat capsized in East Chicago, medical examiners have identified his body, which was recovered last week in Lake Michigan.

The search for Kelvin Soto Crespo, 20, had been ongoing since May 1, when the 18-foot Bayliner runabout boat he and three others were aboard capsized offshore near the East Chicago Marina. 

His body was found the morning of June 10 about 13 miles out in the lake, east of Rainbow Beach on Chicago's Southeast Side, police said. The recovery operation came after the Chicago Marine Unit responded to a report of a body floating in the water.

The cause and manner of death were pending further investigation, Cook County Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman Brittany Hill said.

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The body was initially listed as a John Doe until medical examiners recently identified him as Crespo, records show.  

After the boat capsized around 2:15 p.m. May 1, a U.S. Coast Guard boat launched from the Chicago station and rescued two of the boat's occupants. The two told officials that four people had been aboard. A good Samaritan rescued a third boater, officials said.

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Two of the boaters were treated for hypothermia, and a third person was in critical condition, officials said. All three have since recovered and were released from the hospital. 

The boat was recovered on May 7 in the Illinois side of Lake Michigan, said Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Tyler Brock. 

Crespo was from Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, and he had moved to Chicago last year and started a career at FedEx, his family said. His father, Benjamin Soto, had been searching the shoreline since his son's disappearance and since returned to their home in Puerto Rico. He described Crespo as a loving son, hard worker and a caring person who loved to talk to people. He was Soto's youngest child. 

Soto said arrangements are being made to bring Crespo to Puerto Rico for funeral services and burial. 

In order to help pay for Crespo's funeral expenses and to have him transported to Puerto Rico, his family has launched a GoFundMe campaign called, "Carrying Kelvin Home," hosted by Benjamin Soto. So far $4,555 has been raised of the $11,000 goal. 

"I'm trying to hang on there, it's been hard," said Soto. "I want to thank everyone for their prayers, support and for everything. Thank you."


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Night Crime/Breaking News Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts and investigative news. She is a graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology. 219-933-4194,

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