Day three of search for drowning victim in Newton County

Emergency personnel search for the victim of a drowning in Newton County. (WLFI Photo)
Emergency personnel search for the victim of a drowning in Newton County. (WLFI Photo)

NEWTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — The search for the body of a man who drowned in Newton County hits its third day.

Saul Lopez, 22, of Hammond, was on a raft with a friend at JC Murphy Lake on Saturday evening. Conservation officers said the raft began to lose air as the pair rowed back to shore.

Both Lopez and his friend jumped into the water to push the raft to shore. Emergency responders were able to pull the friend from the water, but still haven’t recovered Lopez.

Conservation officers with the Department of Natural Resources said there were no life jackets worn or on the raft.

“Indiana Conservation officers always want to remind folks that when they’re around the water, to always wear a life jacket,” said Officer Keith Wildeman. “It’ll potentially save your life.”

Indiana state law does not require people to wear life jackets on boats, but they must be accessible on the boat.

This is the second water fatality in two weeks in the News 18 viewing area. On July 12, a woman died after crashing her jet ski on Lake Shafer.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, officials said the search will continue into Monday night and will begin again Tuesday morning. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, off topic, or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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