Saturday, June 25, 2005
Mystery by the Lake??
Clothes, Suspicious Note Prompt Beach Search POSTED: 7:00 am CDT June 24, 2005 UPDATED: 4:59 pm CDT June 24, 2005 CHICAGO -- The U.S. Coast Guard and the Evanston Fire Department called off a search in Lake Michigan Friday for what they said could be a man and woman whose clothes and a depressing handwritten note were found on an Evanston beach. An Evanston park ranger discovered the clothes and the note at the Clark Street beach along Lake Michigan in the northern suburb at about midnight Thursday, according to Evanston Police Sgt. Bryan Firth. The U.S. Coast Guard first suspended it's search early Friday morning, but the search was resumed around 10 a.m. with multiple jurisdictions involved after additional information was received, NBC5's Lisa Tutman reported. "We are in a recovery mode," an unnamed official told Tutman at the scene. The Evanston Fire Department discontinued its search efforts as of 12:38 p.m., recalling its dive team and calling back citizens who were searching the shoreline, Evanston Fire Capt. Kurt Dickman said. There were no plans to resume the search, unless there was further evidence that people were actually in the water, Dickman said. "The Evanston police department is not looking at this as a hoax," Evanston Police Deputy Chief Joe Bellino said earlier. "We need to assume the worst-case scenario so nothing is overlooked." A note inside a purse found at the scene indicated one of the two was diagnosed with a brain tumor and "didn't want to die like that," U.S Coast Guard Milwaukee Officer Anthony Cirillo said. He did not know which person the note referred to. "(The note) was pretty depressing," Cirillo said. Footprints were also seen leading from the clothes to the water, according to a U.S. Coast Guard Milwaukee officer. The beach was closed when the items were found, and police were exploring the possibility that the couple were unauthorized vistors who got spooked and left quickly, Tutman reported. "You can't rule anything out and you react in a manner that would be appropriate for the most tragic of scenarios," an officer at the scene said. Police did not characterize the letter as a suicide note, Tutman reported. Divers were also brought to the scene to assist with the search. Additional information provided by City News Service. Copyright 2005 by NBC5.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.