A 44-year-old man whose body was recovered from Gages Lake on Tuesday afternoon was identified by the Lake County Coroner as Richard Stoneking.
His companion, Eric W. Oomens, 46, was charged with failure to stop or comply with requirements involving an accident, collision, casualty duty to report and render aid, a Class 2 Felony, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office (LCSO).
On June 18 at approximately 9:40 p.m., the Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call regarding a suspicious circumstance on Gages Lake, located just east of Route 45 in unincorporated Grayslake.
A caller said that a man was "coming out of the water and stated he was looking for his friend. The subject then fled the area on foot," according to the LCSO.
The Grayslake Fire Department began a boat search of the lake, while the LCSO deputies attempted to locate the man who fled. He was later identified as Oomens. Grayslake ended the search at approximately 12:30 a.m.
Later, the LCSO received a report of a missing 44-year old man, made by a family member.
The Lake County and McHenry County Specialized Response Team responded to Gages Lake at approximately 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. The LCSO located Oomens who had left the scene the day earlier.
Oomens stated that he and Stoneking were out on a pontoon boat on Gages Lake when they both decided to go swimming. While they were in the water, the boat drifted away. They started swimming to shore, Oomens said. But when he reached the shore, he said he could no longer see his friend.
Oomens pointed rescuers to the area in Gages Lake where he last saw his friend in the water. Recovery efforts then focused on that area.
Divers from the response team used sonar detection to recover Stoneking's body from the lake at approximately 3:18 p.m.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Mr. Stoneking,” stated Sheriff Mark Curran.