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Man Dies in Pond Near Toll Road

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Authorities are investigating the death of a Lake County man whose body was pulled from a pond just off the Indiana Toll Road in Gary Sunday. The Lake County Coroners office says cause and manner of death for 20-year-old Jelani Lewis were pending. He was pronounced dead at 2:15 pm at westbound mile marker 16. State police received the call for assistance and dispatched divers to the scene in an attempt to locate the man who was last seen swimming in the pond by his father. Sergeant Dan Leslie, a diver with the Indiana State Police Underwater Search Rescue/Recover Team, entered the water after talking with the victim’s father, and located the victim moments later. The deceased, 20-year-old Jelani Louis of Merrillville, was found approximately 120 feet from shore and in 18 feet of water. Police say Louis was underwater for more than one hour before he was recovered and pronounced dead at the scene. Police say the father and son had reportedly been fishing at the pond. The state police say they are working a joint investigation on the apparent drowning with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Gary EMS also responded.
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