Heavily pregnant murder victim found stabbed to death and floating in Lake Michigan identified as female, 19
- Lake County Sheriff’s Office officials confirmed on Saturday that so-called Lake Michigan Jane Doe Yarianna Wheeler, 19, is from Chicago.
- Authorities said she had several ‘sharp’ injuries to her body and her death is being investigated as murder
- She was found floating in the waters of Lake Michigan on August 15 when she was six months pregnant
- Officials say she probably floated in the water for seven to 12 days before being found by a fisherman
- They said she could have gotten into the water anywhere from Northern Indiana to Northern Illinois
A heavily pregnant woman found floating in Lake Michigan after being stabbed to death has been identified as a 19-year-old Chicago woman.
Officials from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office have confirmed that the so-called Lake Michigan Jane Doe is Yarianna Wheeler, a missing Chicago woman who was between six and nine months pregnant.
Authorities said she suffered several ‘sharp’ injuries to her body, and as a result, her death is being investigated as murder.
A full autopsy to determine the official cause of Wheeler’s death is still pending.
Yarianna Wheeler, 19, was identified as the woman whose body was found floating in Lake Michigan on Aug. 15. She was between six and nine months pregnant
Lake County Sheriff’s Office officials said she apparently floated in the lake (pictured) for seven to 12 days before she was found, and could have entered it anywhere from the northern Indiana shoreline to the northern Illinois shoreline.
However, the announcement came almost a week after Wheeler was found in the water, where she had apparently been lying for seven to 12 days.
Officials said she may have entered the water “anywhere from Indiana’s northern shoreline to the northern Illinois shoreline of Lake Michigan,” police said. New York Post.
A fisherman on the lake found her around 3 p.m. on Aug. 15, according to the Lake McHenry Scanner, and immediately called the authorities.
On August 20, the Sheriff’s Office released a sketch of what they thought the victim would have looked like before floating in the water for seven to 12 days.
Authorities released this sketch of the victim, which led to dozens of tips, one of which led them to positively identify Wheeler as the victim.
The department then received several dozen tips, one of which led them to Wheeler, who was caught on surveillance footage entering a store on the last known day she was seen alive.
“When they saw the image, they knew they were on the right track,” said Lt. Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. ABC7. “From there, they were able to request dental records, which ultimately identified her.”
Although authorities have now identified the Jane Doe, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in providing information about a possible suspect in her death.
Just hours after Wheeler’s body was discovered, a US Coast Guard helicopter found the body of a man identified as 49-year-old Martin Mendoza, of Waukesha, Wisconsin, also floating in the lake.
Officials say it appears he drowned and the two incidents are unrelated.