Body recovered at Rock Cut


Lauren Shelton, Reporter

     Rock Cut State Park in Loves Park became very busy this past week from an unfortunate event that took place. On Monday morning, the body of a young woman was pulled from the waters of Pierce Lake. Passerbyers had called the Loves Park Police Department as they reported a suicide had taken place. Fire Officials were the first ones to the scene and the ones who retrieved the body, along with a rescue crew and helicopter to help search the lake. Reports state that the woman was wandering the park and must have decided to jump into the frozen lake. Only a few hours prior and her vehicle was found still running in a different area of the park. Many people who were at the park during the incident have reported about the accident. The Belvidere North girls’ track team was also running at the park that morning.

     “We were just running along the trails and there was an officer with a canine unit. He told us to keep a look out for a missing Hispanic woman and to alert them if we saw anything. He made it clear to us though that we should not interact with her,” said Hunter Vinke (‘19).

     The Winnebago County Coroner, Bill Hintz, confirmed the woman’s death, but has not yet made any more information available to the public.

     This isn’t the first time a dead body has been recovered at Rock Cut. Only a few years ago, a 17-year-old from Rockton drowned in a canoe accident on the lake. The Loves Park Police released that four teenage boys were on the canoe without any life jackets when it capsized. They were about 100 yards from shore and the water was around 12 feet deep. The boy was Mitchel Krause of Rockton and he was the only one who never came back up from the water.

     “Every year we see preventable deaths on Illinois waters if life jackets would have been a part of the equation. Putting on a life jacket when you get on board a boat should be a habit, just like buckling your seatbelt when you get in your car,” said Illinois Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez.

     Any event similar to these is extremely unfortunate, but in both scenarios the deaths could have been prevented in different ways. The public needs to remain educated and make sure everyone is aware of various dangers that are present.