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Missing Waukegan man found dead in Lake Michigan

Mario Alejandro Montano | Family provided photo.

The body of a 22-year-old man who went missing in early March was found in Lake Michigan near Waukegan this week, authorities said.

Mario Alejandro Montano, 22, of Waukegan, was reported missing on March 3 by his mother, who feared he jumped into Lake Michigan.

Montano’s mother contacted the Waukegan Police Department and officers helped locate the man’s vehicle near the Waukegan Municipal Beach shortly after he was reported missing.

The car door was found open with the keys in the ignition and Montano’s cell phone was still inside. A police canine picked up Montano’s scent along the lake but police were unable to find the man.

“I fear that he could’ve thrown himself in the lake, he suffered from depression, but the police were no longer able to help or send divers into the lake,” said the man’s mother, Maria Montano, at the time of his disappearance.

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The Lake County Coroner’s Office and Waukegan Police Department respond to the Waukegan Municipal Beach for a body that was found near the beach. | Photo provided to Lake and McHenry County Scanner.

Waukegan Police Commander Joe Florip told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that a thermal drone and a four-wheel off-road vehicle had also been used in the search.

Authorities had sent out a missing person alert in a nationwide database to police departments and local hospitals were notified, Florip said.

Police officers and paramedics responded around 7 a.m. on Sunday after a body had been located at the Waukegan Municipal Beach.

Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper said that his office positively identified the body as Montano.

His death is believed to be a suicide and an autopsy showed his cause of death to be drowning, Cooper told Lake and McHenry County Scanner.


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