cold_weather_swimmers1.jpg

A group of “cold-weather” swimmers enters the water near Highland Park on Nov. 4. | Provided/Timothy Hammond

Body found at Highland Park beach identified as missing swimmer

SHARE Body found at Highland Park beach identified as missing swimmer
SHARE Body found at Highland Park beach identified as missing swimmer

A body found on a Lake Michigan beach Saturday in Highland Park has been identified as an Elgin woman who went missing while swimming in hazardous waters nearly a week earlier.

Lena Lemesh, 52, was found dead about 10:57 a.m. Saturday along the Lake Michigan waterfront near Fort Sheridan, according to the Lake County coroner’s office. Preliminary results from an autopsy Tuesday morning indicated that she died of drowning, but toxicology tests were pending.

She had been swimming on the morning of Nov. 4 with a group of people and 46-year-old Stanislaw Wlosek Jr. in 12-foot waves and heavy winds near the North Shore Yacht Club at 21 Park Ave., according to Highland Park Fire Chief Larry Amidei, the U.S. Coast Guard and the coroner’s office.

The swimmers entered the lake from a boat launch area at Park Avenue Beach and “encountered difficulty due to lake conditions,” officials said.

Rescue workers found Wlosek unconscious and pulled him back to shore, authorities said. He was given CPR and rushed to Highland Park Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He lived in northwest suburban Itasca.

The search for Lemesh continued the next morning with police and fire personnel checking the shoreline on foot in addition to boats from Highland Park, the U.S. Coast Guard and multiple fire agencies, according to a statement from the city of Highland Park.

A Chicago police helicopter and pilots from a not-for-profit group called Pilots for Hope also assisted with the aerial search.

The Latest
U.S. health officials declare Cook, collar counties at high risk for COVID-19 outbreaks and strain on hospitals.
Host and designer Alison Victoria helps a couple expecting their first child build their Evanston home from the ground up.
Richard Banks, 22, and Christian Anderson, 16, both of Chicago, face first-degree murder charges in the May 14 shooting death of Jeremiah Ellis.
Ellen DeGeneres and guests Jennifer Aniston, Billie Eilish and Pink shared memories and affection as the gabfest concluded its Emmy-winning, 3,200-plus episode run that began in September 2003.
Casino revenue will cover just 9% of the city’s annual massive pension contribution, WBEZ reports.