Corey McFry, 15, disappeared near the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk site of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. A volunteer with the Coast Guard Auxiliary found his body not far from where he was last seen.
"It's not something you really want to deal with, not a phone call you want to get," said Mark McGregor, the fiance of McFry's mother.
McFry was with friends at the lake trying to beat the heat Sunday on a sandbar a little off shore when he either slipped or was swept away by 3-5 foot waves. Most beaches in the area with lifeguards were closed Sunday because of the strong rip currents.
"It appears what happened when he stepped off that sandbar, he did step into water that was way over his head and with the waves that were crashing in, just wasn't able to get back to the surface," said Indiana Conservation Officer Gene Davis.
His family says McFry, who would have been a freshman at Portage High School in the fall, was a capable but not especially strong swimmer.
But no matter how strong the swimmer, when battling rip currents, the lake almost always wins. Experts say the way to survive is to counter intuitively swim parallel to the shore with the current until you reach calmer water.
McFry is the second drowning victim of the season along that stretch of the Indiana beach.
The beach was closed Monday while authorities did an intensive search.
McFry's family members say they have set up a memorial fund to help pay for his funeral expenses. Arrangements are still being made. Those that want to donate can go to any Centier Bank location and donate to the McFry Corey Memorial Fund.