Missing 9-year-old's body found in suburban lake after going paddle boating, officials say

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Geraldo Rodriguez drowned in a lake in suburban Chicago

WAUCONDA, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -- The body of a 9-year-old boy was recovered Saturday from a lake in northwest suburban Wauconda, a day after he fell in with an 11-year-old boy who was rescued.

Sonar technicians found Geraldo Rodriguez’s body in Bangs Lake about noon, according to a statement from the Wauconda Fire District.

Geraldo and Marcuis Montez, 11, became “distressed” and fell in the water from a paddleboat about 7:20 p.m. Friday, fire officials said.

A nearby fisherman heard screaming and was able to pull Marcuis from the water, but Geraldo could not be found, officials said.

Emergency crews from Wauconda and 21 other suburbs, along with divers and sonar technicians, searched for Rodriguez until 3 a.m. Saturday.

They resumed their search at daybreak and found Geraldo’s remains several hours later.

The preliminary results of an autopsy indicated he died of drowning, Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper said in a statement. His death remains under investigation by the coroner’s office and Wauconda police.

The water in the lake was estimated to be around 45 degrees, cold enough to catch hypothermia within 5-10 minutes, a Wauconda fire official said at a press conference near the lake.

“While we are saddened by this loss of a community member, both the Fire District and Police Department are grateful to provide closure to the family of Geraldo,” officials said in a statement.

A prayer gathering for the Rodriguez family was scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Transfiguration Catholic Church, 316 W. Mill St. in Wauconda.

The older boy was taken to a hospital to be treated for hypothermia and was expected to be released Sunday.

A GoFundMe has been set up for the family.