Father Remembers Victim of Lake Michigan Drowning

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rebecca Long's father says his daughter leaves behind an impressive legacy for her 32 short years. NBC 5's Lauren Jiggetts reports. (Published Wednesday, May 14, 2014)

    The father of a woman who drowned in Lake Michigan last week is speaking out about his daughter's legacy.

    Rebecca Long, 32, was found about 100 yards from the shore in Lake Forest at around 11 a.m. May 7.

    Woman Drowns in Lake Michigan

    [CHI] Woman Drowns in Lake Michigan
    Rescue crews rush to save a swimmer seen waving for help in the waters off of Lake Forest, but by the time they found her, it was too late. Charlie Wojciechowski reports. (Published Thursday, May 8, 2014)

    Gerald Long says his daughter, an avid runner, was looking to cool off on a hot day when she slipped from a rock into the lake. Witnesses saw her yelling for help before she drowned.

    "I was completely knocked out. I was just numb," said Long of the moment he realized his daughter was gone.

    Body Recovered From Lake Michigan Near Lake Forest

    [CHI] Body Recovered From Lake Michigan Near Lake Forest
    A body has been recovered from Lake Michigan in north suburban Lake Forest, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed. NBC Chicago's Charlie Wojciechowski reports for the NBC 5 NEWS at NOON on May 8, 2014. (Published Thursday, May 8, 2014)

    Long and his wife are relying on their spirituality to make it through, and says their Christian faith gives them hope that they will all meet up again.

    Unfortunately, it's a tragedy they've experienced before. Rebecca's younger brother, Alex, committed suicide eight years ago. It's a loss that led Rebecca -- a recent MBA grad -- to join her father at Alpha USA, a Christian non-profit agency that focuses on helping troubled teens.

    "She wanted to turn that around, to help people through that. Avoid them going down that same road," Long said.

    He says the outpouring of support from the lives she's touched has been overwhelming.

    "It makes us realize what a treasure she was. Always unassuming, so humble, never looking for herself," Long said.

    Long said Rebecca had an disease that left her mostly blind in one eye and was slowly losing vision in the other eye. He believes that may have led her to slip from the rock wall.