Reporting Mike Campbell
WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) – The Oakland County Sheriff’s Dive Team has recovered the body a 21-year-old Beverly Hills man who went missing while swimming with friends in Oakland County.
The body was located in 90 feet of water — on the southern end of Walnut Lake, near Inkster and Walnut Lake Road —with the help of a robotic camera equipped sonar device.
Sgt. Patrick Hatfield said the team responded to the subdivision access site on Putnam Drive after they got a call about a person in the water around 1 a.m. Friday.
Hatfield said the man, whose name was not immediately released, was out on a boat with six other people when he dove into the water, and never resurfaced.
“He was out swimming with several other friends, the friends are all accounted for and safe. They were unable to account for him when they were getting back on the boat,” he said.
Hatfield said investigators searched all the places the man could have gone if he swam to shore, but he wasn’t at any of those locations. According to witnesses, he was last seen alive in approximately 86-feet of water.
Just after 8:30 a.m., authorities officially declared the situation a recovery effort. The man’s body was found about three hours later.
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said alcohol is believed to be a factor in the drowning.
“Unfortunately that tends to be a common thread, that when you have a tragedy on the water, often times — statistically about 33 or 40 percent — typically involved some kind of alcohol,” said Bouchard. “So, mixing alcohol with either boating or swimming is a very, very bad idea.”
The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy. The incident remains under investigation.