"They thought it would be fun. … They made a bad decision: the Wauconda boy's body was found after the paddle boat accident


Geraldo Rodriguez would have been 10 years old Wednesday.

The Wauconda boy's family had planned to celebrate his birthday on Saturday, the day the Wauconda Fire Department and surrounding agencies found his body in Bangs Lake, after he and a friend went to the lake in a boat. paddle the day before.

"That does not seem real yet," said her aunt, Angi Rodriguez, on Easter morning. "Not everything is installed yet."

Geraldo, who lived near the lake, went out to play Friday, accompanied by his 13-year-old sister, and found his neighbor next door, the Marquis Montez, near the lake, said Rodriguez.

Her sister went home to tell their mother that Geraldo was playing in the park, said Rodriguez.

"I guess that's when they decided to take the paddle steamer on the lake," she said. "They had no permission. Their mother would not let a 9 year old go on a pedalo in cold weather. "

Body of a 9 year old boy found at Bangs Lake, Wauconda »

Fire officials said that at approximately 19:20 the two boys "grieved", left the paddlewheel and "went to the water", according to a statement issued by the fire department. .

In the neighborhood, fishermen heard shouts and were able to pull the marquis from the lake and take him to shore, according to the statement.

"The fisherman heard him scream for help after the fall of Geraldo," Rodriguez said. "(Marquis) said," You must help my friend. That's how the search started, but they could not find it. "

Recovery efforts continued until about 3 am Saturday, when rescue teams postponed the search due to lighting and weather conditions. Divers discovered Geraldo's body later Saturday, the statement said.

"Geraldo was found and recovered around noon by side scan sonar technicians," the document says. "Although we are saddened by the loss of a member of the community, the Fire Department and the Wauconda Police Department are grateful to have closed Geraldo's family."

Angi Rodriguez said the tragedy was an accident caused by two boys looking for fun.

"And they made a bad decision," she said. "They did not want to listen to their parents. They just thought in the moment. They thought it would be fun. It was a tragic result. "

Rodriguez was said to be surprised and touched by the outpouring of support from the Wauconda area community, including a GoFundMe page that had almost reached its funeral expense target on Sunday morning.

"I feel that I have never seen a community unite so much in this moment of need," she said. "Not everyone is judging parents, he's just supporting and doing everything he can for them."

Geraldo, named after his father, was the only boy in a family of four, Rodriguez said. Extended family members came from Florida to help the family, she said.

The family has created a memorial on the beach of Bangs Lake and plans to celebrate his birthday on Wednesday with balloons and flowers, said Rodriguez.

"They always want to have a party in her honor," she said.

The funeral plans had not been made official on Sunday, said Rodriguez.

First responders from Barrington, Buffalo Grove, Cary, Campaign, Crystal Lake, Grayslake, Fox Lake, Fox River Grove, Gurnee, Huntley, Lake Forest, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Long Grove, Long Lake, McHenry participated in # 39; transaction. , Mundelein, Newport, Nunda, Richmond, Round Lake and Wonder Lake.

Phil Rockrohr is a freelance journalist for News-Sun.

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