GASTON, Ore. (AP) — Divers on Tuesday recovered the bodies of a mother and two of her children who
authorities say drowned in a popular lake west of Portland.
drowned in the same area of Henry Hagg Lake, authorities said.
The family lived in nearby Hillsboro and had gone to the lake for a picnic on Monday.
It was not clear exactly what happened to the family, but law enforcement officials said they found no
sign of foul play.
"We’re just considering this a tragic accident," said Sgt. Bob Ray of the Washington County
Deputies identified the three bodies found Tuesday as those of Jova Ixtacua-Castano, 42, her daughter
Gabriela Garcia-Ixtacua, 25, and son Michael Garcia-Ixtacua, 13.
The 3-year-old boy found Monday night was identified as Jeremy Scholl, the son of Gabriela
Because of its size of nearly 2 square miles, the lake has no lifeguards, but the sheriff’s office uses a
vessel on weekends for patrols.
The three bodies were discovered about 40 feet offshore in 8 feet of water, and about 50 yards from the
spot where the 3-year-old was found.
Authorities worried about the rest of the family after they recovered the boy’s body at the site Monday
evening and found personal items nearby, including a beach towel, cooler, shoes, identification, as well
as a small dog on a leash.
They also discovered that a vehicle left at the parking lot near the lake was owned by a family member.
The family’s neighbors and relatives told officials the four had gone to the lake and had not been heard
The lake is a busy recreation site, drawing 800,000 visitors a year — 6,000 a day on busy summer
weekends, officials said. It also provides drinking water for Portland suburbs.
There have been previous drownings and near-drownings at Henry Hagg Lake, near the same area where the
four family members were found.
That side of the lake can be dangerous because it has a steep drop-off formed by the channel of a former
river bed running beneath the reservoir.
In 2012, eight children nearly drowned after wading into the lake and stepping from that underwater
drop-off. They were saved by six people at a family reunion who heard the children yelling and formed a
human chain to pull them to shore.
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