East Chicago

East Chicago family in mourning after teen drowns in Lake Michigan

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Instead of making plans for the new school year, a northwest Indiana family is in mourning after a 14-year-old drowned in Lake Michigan over the holiday weekend.

K’Mari Mack was one of at least six drowning victims in the lake over the holiday weekend, according to experts, and his family is speaking out after his tragic death.

They describe a young man who was compassionate and considerate of others, and who was excited to join the school track team.

“He was a good, caring, fun-loving person,” his father Kumasi said. “Very funny. We are just trying to grieve properly.”

He says that K’Mari visited the East Chicago library almost every day, and had become a beloved figure to the young patrons.

“I’m very proud of him,” he said. “He was like a big brother, a mentor.”

“He just was a really nice young man,” Mary Schones added. “He was a little bit on the quiet side, but very thoughtful. He just loved to hang around all the kids at the library.”

Librarians are considering holding a water safety class for children next year in K’Mari’s honor.

“It’s just a terrible accident,” Schones said. “My heart goes out to his family.”

Services will be held in East Chicago in coming days, but family members say their mourning process is only just beginning.

“He was very loveable,” Kumasi said. “In dull or sad moments, he would bring joy. He had a good spirit.”

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