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Indiana Conservation Continues Search For Keegan Whaling
Updated November 15, 2017 3:11 AM
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(VALPARAISO) - Indiana Conservation Officers continue to search for the body of Keegan Whaling. Search efforts so far, have been unsuccessful.

Keegan was reported as missing in the water on Sunday, October 29th just before 7 a.m. after a canoe he and a 21-year-old friend were in capsized and both men entered the water. Keegan was last seen in the water and there is no indication he made it to shore.

Search efforts have been ongoing daily and have included Sonar, underwater professional dive operations by over 10 area agencies, area checks by unmanned aerial devices, use of specially trained canines, and area checks by the Lake County Sheriff's Office Eagle One helicopter crew, and area checks by Indiana Conservation Officers in boats.

Conservation Officers have identified the individual that located a blanket that was discovered draped over a guard rail at the Long Lake Public Access Site early Tuesday morning.

The individual has been cooperative and met with the investigating officer to show him where he located the blanket. The area identified is consistent with information gathered from the investigation and the blanket has been confirmed as being present at the time of the initial incident.

Search efforts included the use of a certified cadaver dog, followed by an extensive side scan sonar search. Indiana Conservation Officer Public Safety Divers conducted dive searches on several areas of interest identified by the sonar operators, locating multiple foreign objects unrelated to the incident. Fifteen additional divers from area fire departments conducted an organized search covering a large area on the north side of the lake.

Although Indiana Conservation Officers are confident in today's search efforts, it should be noted efforts continue to be hindered by extensive plant material in the lake, which cannot be thoroughly searched with sonar equipment or safely searched by divers. Most of the area of interest consists of dense plant material ranging from three to fifteen feet in length.

Upon arrival to the search area today, Officers located a green blanket draped over the guard rail at the boat ramp. This blanket matches the description of a blanked believed to have ended up in the water at the time of the initial incident.

The investigation is ongoing and foul play is not suspected. Anyone with any information related to the search is encouraged to contact ICO Dispatch at 812-837-9536.

Search efforts by Indiana Conseravtion Officers will be evaluated on a daily basis and are expected to continue with regular patrols of the area.

Members of the public are asked to avoid the area while search operations are being conducted and to contact Indiana Conservation Officers at 812-837-9536 if Keegan's body is spotted.

The investigation is ongoing and there is no foul play suspected.

Agencies assisting in operations included: Chesterton Fire Department, Portage Fire Department, Porter Fire Department, Valparaiso Fire Department and Porter County Emergency Management Agency. Merrillville Fire Department also assisted in this week's search by conducting dive operations on Monday.



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