The identity of a second body recovered from a retention pond in suburban Lynwood Tuesday has been released.
Leandre L. Scotts, 26, of Chicago, was identified as the man pulled from the pond two weeks after a car went off the road and plunged into the frigid waters, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. The cause and manner of death were "pending further studies," the office said.
Divers searched daily for the car's occupants after police were called to the 3000 block of Lincoln Highway around 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 18 following a 911 call reporting the crash.
About two hours into the initial search, crews found the vehicle approximately 30 feet underwater, officials said, but were unable to retrieve it or locate the occupants.
Christopher Stone, 27, of the 18700 block of Stony Island Avenue in Chicago Heights, was found dead inside the vehicle on Dec. 19, the Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed.
There were no barricades around the water at the time, police said, but they were installed shortly after the search went underway.
"A Sheriff's Police investigation led to the possibility of a second person was inside a vehicle that crashed into the pond on Dec. 18," the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. "Recovery efforts have persisted since the car entered the water."
First responders were on the scene within minutes. Emergency crews spent several hours searching the pond for victims amid freezing temperatures and wind chill values that the National Weather Service warned could create conditions for frostbite or hypothermia to set in in just 30 minutes.
One police officer, who had jumped into the pond to try to make a rescue, had to be treated at an area hospital. Another diver also was taken to the hospital to be treated for exposure.
It took search teams working in 13-minute shifts two hours to find the vehicle, which was about 60 to 70 feet from where it sunk in the water and buried in silt up to the windows, police said, leaving them unable to see the license plate. Authorities then declared it was a recovery mission.
A passerby on the scene told NBC 5 two people were inside the car, but police were unable to confirm that at the time.
As air temperatures fell well below zero and wind chills neared minus 30 degrees across the Chicago area, the recovery efforts were temporarily suspended as authorities said they didn’t want to risk any more lives.
Why the car went into the water is still unclear.