On Aug. 26, divers with the Newberg Fire Department Dive Team responding to a call for assistance from the Washington County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol at Henry Hagg Lake just west of Portland, Oregon, recovered the drowned bodies of a mother and her two children. Detectives with the sheriff's office began searching for the family members last night after receiving a call around 6:09 p.m. regarding a three-year-old boy found drowned in the lake, according to a press release from the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
The baby, identified as Jeremy Scholl, turned out to be the grandson of one of the women found drowned in the lake today. The rest of Jeremy’s family recovered from the waters of Henry Hagg Lake were identified by sheriff’s deputies as Jova Ixtacua-Castano, 40, her daughter Gabriela Garcia-Ixtacua, 25, and son Michael Garcia-Ixtacua, 13, according to ABC News.
People at the popular tourist location spotted Jeremy in the lake last night, pulled him from the water, performed CPR on him, and contacted the local authorities. Responders from the Gaston Fire Department pronounced the baby deceased on the scene.
“Sheriff’s Deputies searched the area but were unable to locate the child’s parents or anyone who had any knowledge of the child. Sheriff’s Deputies found a beach towel, cooler, shoes and other personal items on the beach close to where the child was found. “
Investigators then found a vehicle at the lake’s parking lot that was registered in the same name as personal belongings found on the beach. Deputies stated that there were no witnesses to any of the events involving the drownings. After finding the drowned baby boy and fearing that there may be additional bodies to be found, sheriff’s deputies shut down the lake and called in the Newberg Fire Department Dive Team to search for more victims.
Divers found the remaining three family members today “about 40 feet off shore in water that was about 8-feet deep,” according to Oregon Live. The four family members lived in nearby Hillsboro and reportedly went to the lake on Monday to have a family picnic. Officials have no explanation for what happened to the family to cause the four drownings. There was no evidence of any foul play in any of the drowning deaths.
Sgt. Bob Ray of the Washington County Sheriff's Office said that "We're just considering this a tragic accident." Anyone with any information regarding the case is asked to call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 503-629-0111.