Charges filed in death of Grayslake swimmer
Eric W. Oomens
Updated: October 24, 2012 10:09PM
The friend of a man whose body was pulled Tuesday from Gages Lake near Grayslake has been charged in connection with his death.
Eric W. Oomens, 46, was charged with failure to stop or comply with requirements involving an accident, collision or casualty with a duty to report and render aid, according to a Tuesday night release from Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran. The charge is a class 2 felony.
Oomens was with 44-year-old Richard Stoneking on a pontoon boat Monday night when they decided to swim and the boat drifted away, Lake County Sheriff’s officials said. They tried to swim to shore but Stoneking never made it.
Emergency officials were first notified at 9:30 p.m. when someone called to say a swimmer walked out of the water and said he was looking for a friend that was still in the lake, the sheriff’s office said.
Officials claim that swimmer, allegedly Oomens, ran away, so authorities began searching but couldn’t definitively say whether anyone was actually missing, the release said. Dive crews searched for the man until about 12:30 a.m., and a family member reported the 44-year-old man missing soon after.
Authorities resumed searching about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, and found the man’s body at 3:18 p.m., the release said. They found Stoneking’s body after they located his friend, who pointed out the last known location of the boat, in an area of the lake about 40 feet deep.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Mr. Stoneking,” Curran said in the release.
The Lake County Sheriff’s office’s Criminal Investigations Division is investigating the incident.