Authorities have identified a 28-year-old father and community activist from Chicago as the man who drowned over the weekend in the Fox Lake.
Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek confirmed that the body recovered on Sunday was Malik Alim, 28, of Chicago.
The Fox Lake Fire Protection District responded around 10 a.m. Friday to the Fox Lake south of Crabapple Island for a report of a water rescue.
Fox Lake Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Ed Lescher said Alim and his two children were being pulled on a water tube by a pontoon boat.
Alim and his two children fell off the tube into the water, Lescher said.
The two children were wearing life jackets but their father was not wearing one, Lescher said.
Alim did not resurface and the driver of the pontoon boat called 911.
Over two dozen fire departments were sent to the scene with divers, boats and sonar equipment. Helicopters and drones were also overhead assisting in the search on Friday.
Crews switched from “rescue mode” to “recovery mode,” about an hour and a half into the search effort Friday, Lescher said.
The incident was elevated to a second alarm through the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS). Fire crews cleared the scene Friday evening after searching all day on the lake.
On Saturday, the incident was elevated to a third alarm through the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) as searches continued.
First responders were seen staging at Fams On the Chain, located at 112 Lakeview Avenue in Fox Lake.
Lescher added that the water on Fox Lake is very murky and divers were having very little visibility.
On Sunday, local fire departments, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois Department of Conservation Police Department were back on the lake searching for a third day.
The Fox Lake Fire Protection District said in a statement Sunday morning that they recovered a body, which was later confirmed to be Alim.
The Chicago Community Bond Fund said in a social media post that they were heartbroken to share that Alim passed away.
“Malik joined CCBF’s staff in December 2019 and quickly became a champion for the movement to end to money bond in Illinois. He worked as CCBF’s Advocate and represented the organization in many campaigns, such as the Budget for Black Lives,” the organization said.
“Malik’s previous role at CCBF was Campaign Coordinator for the Coalition to End Money Bond, in which he played an instrumental role in the passage of the Pretrial Fairness Act.”
Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton said on social media she was “so very sorry” and that she was “praying for all who loved him.”