The Waukegan mayor said she cannot “begin to imagine feeling the sadness and pain” that the family of Seamus Gray is experiencing after the missing U.S. Navy sailor was found dead Wednesday.
Waukegan Deputy Police Chief Scott Chastain said officers were on a traffic stop around 7:08 p.m. Wednesday near the Waukegan Harbor when ComEd workers flagged down the officers.
The workers reported they were doing routine work near the Harbor when they spotted a body in the water.
An officer went into the water to attempt a water rescue and was able to bring the body to shore, Chastain said.
The Waukegan Fire Department responded and retrieved the body further onto shore.
Chastain said the body and clothing matched the description of Seamus Gray, 21, who went missing on March 18 after leaving a downtown Waukegan bar.
Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said late Wednesday evening that the body was positively identified as Gray.
The coroner’s office said they have been in contact with Gray’s family.
Banek said an autopsy was performed on Gray Thursday morning. The preliminary autopsy results showed Gray died as a result of drowning.
“There is no evidence of significant injury which would have contributed to his death,” Banek said.
“On behalf of the City of Waukegam, I extend our deepest condolences to the family of Seamus Gray,” Waukegan Mayor Ann B. Taylor said.
“As a mother, I can’t begin to imagine feeling the sadness and pain that Seamus’ family has and will endure. Our prayers are with Mr. Gray’s family,” Taylor said.
Surveillance footage from early morning on March 18 showed Gray traveling eastward from Ibiza Bar on Genesee Street in Waukegan.
He was later seen on video walking by himself along the edge of Lake Michigan at the Waukegan Harbor.
Gray was a U.S. Navy Fireman Recruit assigned to Surface Warfare Engineering School Command at Naval Station Great Lakes.
He did not report back to the base at his assigned time of 2 a.m. on March 18.
Waukegan police said last month that should Gray have gone into Lake Michigan, his body would not likely come up for a while due to the cold temperatures and cold water at the time.
The incident remains under investigation by the Waukegan Police Department, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Lake County Coroner’s Office.