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Girl, 9, drowns in Fox Lake: 'It's a sad thing'

A 9-year-old girl drowned while swimming with other children near a boat launch along Fox Lake in northwest suburban Ingleside, authorities said.

The girl, identified by the McHenry County Coroner as Mireya Elizabeth Cardenas of Round Lake, was wading in the water with family and friends about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when she "apparently went under after walking farther out from the shoreline," according to McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski.

Witnesses called for help and the girl was pulled from the water by a family friend, Majewski said.

Someone on the scene performed CPR until paramedics arrived, according to the sergeant and a witness.

The girl was taken to Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry, where she was pronounced dead, said Sgt. Sara Balmes of the Lake County sheriff's office.

Lake County Detective Chris Covelli, who is heading up the investigation into the drowning, said police continued to interview witnesses on Wednesday and confirmed that the girl was swimming with a group of friends, all of whom are roughly the same age.

"They were swimming in an area of the lake that starts out shallow then suddenly drops to 8 feet deep," Covelli said, adding that the girl's body was recovered roughly 24 feet from a private boat launch next to Stormy Monday, a neighborhood pub on Fox Lake.

Jim Zettlemoyer, who lives in the area, said he was swimming in the lake with his wife and three children — ages 8, 10 and 11— when he heard screams.

"We saw someone carry the child up the steps," he said. "And they performed CPR."

Emergency responders continued CPR when they arrived, then carried the girl to an ambulance, he said.

Zettlemoyer said two other children were with the girl at the time.

He said swimming around the boat launches can be dangerous "because they're always slippery."

"It's a sad thing," Zettlemoyer said. "It's heartbreaking."

An employee of Stormy Monday said the drowning victim was "not with any customers at the restaurant."

Rosemary Regina Sobol is a Tribune reporter. Karen Ann Cullotta is a freelance reporter. | Twitter: @RosemarySobol1

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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