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Search Suspended for Bolingbrook Man Feared Lost in Canoe Accident

Family and friends gathering to search surrounding area overnight.

Updated at 6 p.m.

Family and friends have begun to organize their own search for Jeremey Asbell, the 25-year-old Bolingbrook man that went missing early Tuesday morning after his boat capsized in a retention pond in unincorporated Lemont, a source close to the family said.

The group was meeting at the  as of 5:30 p.m. to split into smaller groups so they could survey the land surrounding the pond Asbell disappeared in.

The official search and rescue mission was suspended Tuesday afternoon and recovery crews from DuPage County will pick back up their search Wednesday at 8 a.m.

The Lemont Fire Protection District was notified around 2 a.m. Tuesday of a possible drowning in a retention pond at Frontage Road and Woodward Avenue, according to Lemont Fire Chief Carl Churulo. The call was made from a home at 20W461 S. Frontage Road.

Churulo said two men were out on a canoe when it capsized, tossing both into the water. One man was able to swim to safety, but the other remains missing.

According to one report, crews have found no evidence that Asbell is in the water.

Jeremy's mother, Linda Asbell, said family and friends believe he was drinking at a house party before going out on the canoe. Sheriff's police could not confirm the report.

Lemont Deputy Fire Chief Jay Nickleski said the search is now classified as a "recovery rather than rescue mission."

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Updated at 1:35 p.m.

Authorities have suspended the search for Jeremy Asbell, the 25-year-old Bolingbrook man who went missing early Tuesday morning after his boat capsized in a retention pond in unincorporated Lemont.

Crews will begin looking again at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The DuPage County Sherriff’s Department will take control of the investigation—the Lemont Fire Department had spearheaded the search Tuesday.  

The last rescue boats left the pond at approximately 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. A rescue Chicago Police Department helicopter had been flying overhead for hours before.

The effort has now been classified as a recovery mission, authorities said.

The sheriff’s department will secure the site overnight when no searching will be done.

The Lemont Fire Protection District was notified around 2 a.m. Tuesday of a possible drowning in a retention pond at Frontage Road and Woodward Avenue, according to Lemont Fire Chief Carl Churulo. The call was made from a home at 20W461 S. Frontage Road.

Churulo said two men were out on a canoe when it capsized, tossing both into the water. One man was able to swim to safety, but the other remains missing.

Jeremy's mother, Linda Asbell, said family and friends believe he was drinking at a house party before going out on the canoe. Sheriff's police could not confirm the report.

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12:30 p.m.

The last dive teams have been sent into a Lemont retention pond as authorities continue searching for Jeremy Asbell, according to Lemont Deputy Fire Chief Jay Nickleski.

Once the crews have finished their rounds, the investigation will be turned over to the DuPage County Sheriff's Department, which will maintain a presence on the site, Nickleski said.

Fire crews will return Wednesday if the search is still ongoing.

Nickleski said the search is now classified as a "recovery rather than rescue mission."

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11:23 a.m.

Still no signs of Jeremy Asbell as two rescue boats search a retention pond in unincorporated Lemont.

K-9 units were on the scene, and authorities confirmed crews were using sonar technology in their search.

Approximately two dozen friends and family members have gathered near the pond to wait for updates. 

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10:35 a.m.

After two hours of searching a Lemont retention pond this mornining, there are still no signs of 25-year-old Jeremy Asbell.

Dawn Domrose, spokeswoman for the DuPage County Sheriff's Office, said police are investigating possible witnesses while rescue teams circle the pond.

The unidentified man who swam to safety after the canoe capsized told police he saw Asbell swim toward the shore but never saw him after that, Domrose said.

According to police, the retention pond is about 10 feet deep and was built by U.S. Army Reserves to deal with flood water from nearby homes.

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9:50 a.m.

Fire officials are searching for a 25-year-old Bolingbrook man who disappeared after his canoe tipped over early Tuesday morning in a retention pond in unincorporated Lemont near Woodridge.

After being suspended due to darkness and heavy weeds in the pond, the search resumed at 7 a.m., according to Lemont Deputy Fire Chief Jay Nickleski. 

As of 9:50 a.m., there were still no signs of the man, identified as Jeremy Asbell of Bolingbrook.

According to Dawn Domrose, spokeswoman for the DuPage County Sheriff's Office, authorities have searched the perimeter of the pond. Divers are being sent into the water in pairs, she said.

The Lemont Fire Protection District was notified around 2 a.m. of a possible drowning in a retention pond at Frontage Road and Woodward Avenue, according to Lemont Fire Chief Carl Churulo.

Churulo said two men were out on a canoe when it capsized, tossing both into the water. One man was able to swim to safety but the other remains missing.

The missing man was identified by authorities as Jeremy Asbell, a 2004 graduate of Romeoville High School and father of two. On his Facebook page, he lists his current residence as Darien and his hometown as Bolingbrook.

Friends and family were on the scene Tuesday morning, along with area television crews.

Asbell's mother, Linda Asbell, said she was notified by police around 2:30 a.m. that her son was missing. She said she has received conflicting reports about what he may have been doing on the pond and whom he was with.

"I'm hearing so many different things, I don't know what to think," Asbell said. "We heard he may have been at a bonfire at a nearby house but no one will talk to us.

"We're just continuing to pray. This doesn't make any sense."

Responders from the DuPage County Sheriff's Department were assisting with the search, as well as officials from the Lisle-Woodridge, Westmont and Tri-State fire departments.

With high temperatures expected Tuesday, Nickleski said officials wanted to resume search and rescue efforts as early as possible Tuesday morning. The search will go no later than noon, he said.

The retention pond is near in unincorporated DuPage County.

Check back with Patch for more on this developing story.

Denise Windle August 03, 2011 at 12:23 AM
God Bless Jeremy and his family my son was a coworker of his a few years ago and friends Tragic for such a young man
kqt August 03, 2011 at 08:59 PM
This is pretty upsetting to watch unfold in such a manner...it really does seem like alot of the story is missing, whether someones not talking or maybe just never came forward theres definately a peice missing. My heart goes out to this man and his family including the 2 children they noted in this story, I cant imagine he ever meant to leave so many people with so many questions. I come from a large family and lost my own father in a similar manner...never knowing exactly what took place or who had taken part in the incident..and I can tell you that those question never do go away. If anyone knows something, if you saw something even if you didnt do anything to maybe stop it, maybe you ran away, its OK to panic..to be scared...to not know what to do..Its OK, but now youve had your time to think, you have to act now. SPEAK UP please, for these people looking for him, for his family who waits for him to come home, for friends who want to get that phone call, and for his own peace..If you know anything now is the time to SPEAK and finally give these people an answer they deserve. They shouldnt have to wait like this anymore...and whoever isnt coming forward shouldnt have to keep this in anymore. I hope this helps...and im so sorry for any of his family out there right now who are waiting.
Tom miller August 04, 2011 at 01:11 PM
they found him in the pond right where the others said that he was. the older brother of the white house found him wed. evening while the police were away they came back this morning and pulled him out. buy the way im the older brother and we were looking as well.
Beth Krane August 04, 2011 at 01:42 PM
Tom - Thank you for the update. Just too sad. I had prayed for a different outcome. I send my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of this young life lost. Prayers are with you all. May he be your angel in heaven protecting you all and wrapping his wings around your hearts.
Tina August 04, 2011 at 11:06 PM
Let the lord bless his innocent soul. So did they just find him body floating? I am never going to that area again. I always saw people swim in that lake,

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