You are here

Erin Yarnall, Editor
4:39 pm CST November 4, 2018

The Highland Park Fire department is currently searching for Lena Lamesh, a 52-year-old Elgin woman who was swept away in Lake Michigan Sunday, Nov. 4, while swimming.

The departments responded to an emergency call made around 9:15 a.m. about two swimmers in the lake that were in distress off of Park Avenue Beach.

Emergency personnel located one of the swimmers, Stanislaw Wlosek, Jr., an unresponsive 46-year-old man from Itasca, to the shore. He was transported to Highland Park Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. An autopsy was conducted Nov. 5 by Lake County Coroner Howard Cooper.

“The preliminary autospy results indicate he died as a result of drowning,” Cooper said in a press release. 

“Lake Michigan is a very dangerous place under certain conditions and people should use extreme caution when entering,” he continued.

Highland Park Fire chief Larry Amidei said the fire department is currently conducting a search between Park Avenue Beach and Lake Forest. They are using four boats from four different fire departments, and the Lake County coroner has lent a cadaver dog to assist with the search.

“We’re in recovery mode, not rescue mode,” Amidei said.

Amidei said that the fire department has alerted departments from Highland Park up to Kenosha, Wisconsin that they are searching for a body.

“We plan on searching for several days,” Amidei said.

The swimmers were a part of a 10-person independent cold-weather swim group, according to a press release from the City of Highland Park.

The United States Coast Guard has been providing aerial support with a helicopter that arrived on the scene at 11:45 a.m. Nov. 4.

The City is asking anyone along the lake shore with information about the missing swimmer to please contact the City of Highland Park Police Department at (847) 432-7730.

Follow along at for updates to this story.