Father Remembers Victim of Lake Michigan Drowning

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.

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.

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.

Contact Us