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Police and fire

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City teen drowns in Whitley lake

Perished during swim with pals

A 15-year-old boy from Fort Wayne drowned Saturday evening in a Whitley County lake, according to Indiana conservation officers.

Richard Shadle Jr. and his friends were swimming near a beach on the southeast end of Troy Cedar Lake, about 10 miles northwest of Columbia City, authorities said.

Witnesses told officials that the boy started having trouble swimming for an unknown reason, went underwater and did not resurface. That happened about 6:50 p.m., conservation officers said.

"He wasn't a very good swimmer. We think that was probably one of the biggest factors in the whole situation," conservation officer Darren Reed said.

With an idea of where the boy went under, Reed, a diver, searched that area of the lake with scuba equipment. He recovered the boy's body at 8:22 p.m. in 10 feet of water, 55 feet from shore.

Preliminary results from an autopsy Sunday found the death to be accidental, Reed said.

Assisting the conservation officers were the sheriff's departments of Whitley and Kosciusko counties, fire departments from Thorncreek and Richland townships, Whitley County EMS and the Whitley County Coroner's Office.

aingersoll@jg.net

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