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Erin Yarnall, Editor
2:34 pm CST November 13, 2018

At 10:15 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, the Highland Park Police and Fire Departments recovered the body of Lena Lemesh from Lake Michigan, according to the Highland Park Police Department.

Lemesh, 52, of Elgin, was missing for nearly a week before her body was discovered. She and nine other swimmers were participating in a cold-water swim Nov. 4 near Park Avenue Beach in Highland Park, where she and 46-year-old Itasca resident Stanislaw Wlosek, Jr. were swept away.

Emergency crews located Wlosek in the water, and brought him to shore unresponsive.

Wlosek was transferred to Highland Park Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy conducted on Nov. 5 indicated he died as a result of drowning, according to a press release from Lake County Coroner Howard Cooper.

Lemesh’s body was recovered near the Openlands Lakeshore Beach in Highland Park. An autopsy was conducted Tuesday, Nov. 13, and results indicate that she died as a result of drowning, according to a press release from Cooper.

“Lake Michigan is a very dangerous place under certain conditions and people should use extreme caution when entering,” Cooper says in the press release.

Zina Lemesh, a family representative, said Wlosek was Lemesh’s boyfriend, and “died trying to save her.” She added that her family would like to thank Wlosek’s family, but does not know how to contact them.

“We know how horrible they must feel and we have no way [of] even grieving with them,” Zina Lemesh said.

Search efforts for Lemesh included “shoreline checks by foot, boats deployed along the shore, assistance from the United States Coast Guard, Lake County Coroner’s Office canine unit, aerial searches conducted by the Chicago Police Department, an aircraft from Pilots for Hope, a volunteer aerial search and rescue group, and support from the North Shore Yacht Club in Highland Park,” according to a press release from the City of Highland Park.

Highland Park Fire Chief Larry Amidei said the search went from Highland Park, and authorities were alerted to look out for Lemesh as far north as Kenosha, Wis.

“This is truly an awful tragedy,” Cooper says in the press release.