Police: Search for Missing Nazareth Academy Teacher Ends for the Day
Crews are still searching for John Michalek, a social studies teacher at Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park who went swimming Thursday in West Loon Lake near Antioch.
Divers have called off their search Friday for a man who was reported missing on Thursday after police said he jumped into West Loon Lake near suburban Antioch.
The search for Nazareth Academy teacher John Michalek, 62, ended for the day at 3:30 p.m. and will likely resume Saturday, said Chief Wayne Hunter of the Lake Country Sheriff's Department. Hunter said he could not confirm the missing man's identity because it had not yet been released. Deborah Tracy, principal at Nazareth, said school officials had talked with his brother earlier in the day and confirmed the missing man was Michalek.
"He had such a passion for education," Tracy said. "He will be greatly missed. It's a sad day for all of us."
NBC5 Chicago reported Friday morning that a body was found in the lake, but Hunter said that was not the case. Searchers are having a difficult time locating a body due to thick vegetation in the lake, he said.
"The lake is extremely reedy, and that's what we're dealing with now," Hunter said.
There is a possibility the search could end without divers being able to recover a body, he said.
"That's not often done," Hunter said. "Only if every method has been exhausted. They'll do periodic spot checks of the area."
Michalek, of Berwyn, has taught social studies at Nazareth for 35 years.
He was swimming at West Loon Lake after he and his brother took a pontoon boat out for the day. Michalek had trouble getting back into the boat and went underwater. The Antioch Fire Department received a 911 call around 2:13 p.m. Thursday reporting his disappearance.
Michalek's brother went into the water to help him, but was not able to find him, NBC5 reported. The friend had to rescued by a passing boat.
Patch will update this story when more information becomes available.