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Indiana Conservation Officers use side scan sonar to search the waters of Lake Michigan just off Whihala Beach in Whiting on Saturday afternoon. A person is believed to have gone into the water there Friday night.
A Whiting Fire fighter stands with family and friends of the person who went into Lake Michigan from the pier at Whihala Beach on Friday night as authorities search the water with side scan sonar.
Family and friends watch as a boat from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources uses sonar in an attempt to locate a person who is believed to have drowned after going into the water from the pier last night in Whiting.
A boat from the Lake County Sheriff's department searches for a person missing in Lake Michigan just off the pier in Whiting at Whihala beach.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Lake County Sheriff's department search the waters of Lake Michigan for a person who went into the lake from the pier at Whihala beach in Whiting on Friday night.
The Lake County Sheriff's helicopter assisted in the search Saturday for a person missing in Lake Michigan since Friday night near Whihala beach in Whiting.
A Hammond fire truck sits near the shore of Lake Michigan in Whiting with its aerial ladder extended and shinning its lights on the water near the pier at Whihala beach in Whiting as first responders search for a person in the water late Friday night.
A Paramedic wheels a gurnee off the pier at Whihala beach Friday night as first responders search for a person in the water.
WHITING — State and county police searched unsuccessfully Saturday for a woman who went missing in Lake Michigan near Whihala Beach Friday night and is presumed dead.
"We really thought we'd find her," Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Shawn Brown said.
Thalia Rodriguez, 20, of Whiting, was walking on the pier around 10 p.m. Friday at Wihala Beach with a friend after the two went out to eat, Brown said.
"It was a nice night, really warm out, so they wanted to be outside," he said. "Her friend turned around and she was in the water."
Emergency crews arrived a short time later and could hear Rodriguez, but could not see her, Brown said.
Whether Rodriguez jumped in the water, was pushed by wind gusts or accidentally fell in is not known, he said.
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter searched for Rodriguez for several hours Friday night but was unable to locate her. Crews suspended their search just before 3 a.m. Saturday and came back several hours later to search by air and by boat.
On Saturday, conservation officers and the Lake County Sheriff's Department's marine unit used side-scan sonar in an effort to find Rodriguez's body, but were unsuccessful, Brown said.
Crews will re-evaluate the case with investigators from the Whiting Police Department and determine whether to resume air and water searches Sunday, he said.