RedEye

Teen who drowned in Lake County identified

The teenager who drowned while swimming with friends in Third Lake Monday has been identified as Matt Reed, who was about to begin his junior year at Grayslake Central High School, according to school officials.

"Our hearts and prayers are with the family and we are working together to support the Reed family, students and staff," according to a statement issued by Grayslake Community School District 127. 

"The Grayslake Central High School Crisis Team met today and members of the counseling department as well as teachers and administrators will be available to support students throughout the upcoming weeks," the statement continued. 

The school website will list available support services at http://central.d127.org.

"Matt was an active member on several athletic teams - the golf team, the sophomore basketball team, and the lacrosse team," the statement read.

"He is described by his basketball coach, Brian Moe, as 'a funny, outgoing, caring kid who always had a smile on his face. He cared about other students and doing well in his academic work. He was extremely hard-working and gave great effort to all of his endeavors. Matt was a great friend and had a positive impact on all of the students and staff that worked with him.'"

The teen died as the result of drowning, according to a preliminary autopsy conducted Tuesday by the Lake County Coroner’s office. Toxicology tests are pending, but police said they found no indication of alcohol or drug abuse.

The teen was a “moderate swimmer,” said Lt. Sara Balmes with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Grayslake Fire Chief John Christian said the body was recovered after a search by fire and dive crews. 

The boy had been with six other people on a pontoon boat on the lake. Some of them decided to go swimming, and one of the youths “became distressed and did not surface,” Christian said.

About two dozen people watched as the dive team and firefighters ended their search Monday. A teenage girl was crying as a woman held her hand and walked with her.

Neighbor Chris Kocher said she stood out on her pier watching as a pontoon boat filled with teens returned to shore. 

"I saw this girl come in, screaming, crying," she said.

"I just feel terrible," said Kocher, a retired art teacher.  "We have lived here for 20 years and never had something like this happen on the lake."

Water rescue operations were quickly put in place, with fire department and police personnel present from several area communities and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Responders staged their activities at a residential area abutting the south side of the lake, just east of Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve in Grayslake.

lblack@tribune.com

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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