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13-year-old boy dies after being pulled from Lake Erie nearly 40 minutes after going underwater

Euclid Water Rescue
Posted at 10:04 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 18:18:36-04

EUCLID, Ohio — A 13-year-old boy, who was pulled from Lake Erie after going underwater while swimming at Villa Angela Beach Monday evening, has died, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office.

Around 7:15 p.m., officers were called to Villa Angela Beach in Euclid Creek Reservation after receiving a report that a 13-year-old boy had gone underwater and failed to resurface.

The boy, later identified as Omarion Baker, 13, of Canton, was swimming west of the designated swim area when he went under, according to police.

Nearly 40 minutes after the incident was reported, around 7:50 p.m., first responders recovered Omarion from the lake and transported him to a nearby hospital where he died.

“I’m still in shock," said Jikai Holston, a friend of Omarion's.

Holston met Omarion when they were in middle school. They both played on the same football team and would play basketball together in their neighborhood. Holston said he's still processing Omarion's death.

"I still can't believe it happened. I'm getting better, and I’m the oldest in the neighborhood so I have to watch and make sure everybody else is cool," Holston said. "I love him and I wish we would have just had one more time to spend together."

Cleveland Metroparks police are investigating the incident.

The Canton Local School District said it is saddened to learn about the death of Omarion, who was a Canton South student. The district released the following statement:

We wish to extend our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to family members, relatives, friends and classmates.

Counselors are available at Canton South High School until noon today, Tuesday, July 6, and Wednesday, July 7, from 10 am - 2 pm. Anyone wishing to speak with a counselor outside of scheduled hours can call Coleman Crisis at (330) 452-6000 for assistance 24/7.

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