Dive team and sonar team members resumed water searches with no results Tuesday for Matthew Garcia, who went missing in January after jumping into Lake Michigan to try and save his friend.
Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi said that three teen boys were walking along the pier near Stiner Pavilion, 201 East Sea Horse Drive in Waukegan, on January 18 around 4:30 p.m. when one of them slipped into Lake Michigan.
Matthew “Mateo” Garcia, 16, of Grayslake, jumped into the water to try and save his friend who slipped in.
Police were able to rescue the boy who originally slipped into the water and paramedics transported him to an area hospital. Since January, divers and search teams have been unable to locate Matthew because of weather conditions hampering their search efforts.
On Tuesday morning, search crews were able to safely resume their search, Lenzi said.
“Weather, ice and wave conditions have not allowed for any safe recovery operations since January 25. The Waukegan Police and Fire Departments conducted land based searches as weather conditions allowed over the past two months as well as continuously monitoring the water conditions,” Lenzi said.
Dive team members were able to conduct water searches of the rocky ledges of the piers surrounding the Waukegan
The Lake and McHenry County Specialized Response Sonar Team was able to perform boat-based sonar searches of the entire search area as well.
Fire officials called off the search Tuesday afternoon and said that no further searches are being planned.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this missing young man. Our personnel were hoping to be able to provide closure for the family, however after extensive search of the area we were not able to locate him,” Lenzi said.
“Our personnel have worked hard in less than ideal conditions to attempt to recover this missing young man and we had really hoped to provide this closure for this family,” he added.