Chesterton Tribune



Missing South Bend man's kayak believed found in New Buffalo

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By the AP

and Tribune Staff

Authorities searching along Northern Indiana's Lake Michigan shoreline for a man who vanished during a kayaking trip more than a week ago say what's believed to be the man's kayak has been recovered.

Twenty-three-year-old Jacob Sandy of South Bend was last seen Saturday, May 18, after being reported missing by his family, who told investigators that he’d gone kayaking and never returned. Three days later, on Tuesday, May 21, Porter Police determined that a PT Cruiser with a Michigan license plate found at the old Johnson Inn parking lot at Porter Beach belonged to Sandy.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources announced late Monday that someone found the kayak on May 21 near the Southwestern Michigan community of New Buffalo, about 18 miles from where Sandy was last seen. The person later contacted law enforcement after they saw an image of Sandy's kayak.

Porter Police said that investigators were initially puzzled both by the fact that Sandy’s vehicle was not equipped with a kayak rack and that a witness stated he saw Sandy walking into the woods near Porter Beach. However, surveillance footage from cameras at the National Park Service restroom facility, as well as in-car camera footage shot on May 21 by PPD Lt. John McMahon--who happened to be at Porter Beach in the afternoon--caught images of Sandy at 3 or 3:30 p.m. Saturday assembling a foldable kayak.

Investigators subsequently spoke to an eyewitness who, around the same time on Saturday, observed a white kayak traveling north approximately a mile and a half from the shoreline.

A search was conducted on May 21-22 by the Porter Police and Fire departments, Porter County Search & Rescue, National Park Service rangers and Indiana DNR Conservation Officers, assisted by the Lake County Sheriff’s Police helicopter, Eagle 1, and U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and boats. That search was unsuccessful.

The Oakland Press of Pontiac reports Sandy is originally from the Detroit suburb of Birmingham, Mich., and moved to South Bend after graduating from Hope College in Holland, Mich.


Posted 5/28/2019







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