An autopsy has been scheduled for an 8-year-old Saginaw girl whose body was recovered from Lake Huron at Tawas Point in Iosco County.
About 30 of the girl’s family members were at the Tawas Point State Park for a gathering Saturday afternoon, June 31.
Many family members were in the park pavilion, while others were at the beach, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Witnesses say about 5 p.m., a group of kids swimming started yelling for help. At first, the witnesses thought the kids were playing, but two girls were struggling and in distress.
The DNR said witnesses and family members from the shore went into the water to help the two sisters from Saginaw, a 7-year-old and an 8-year-old.
The 7-year-old girl was pulled safely to shore by a woman. However, the 8-year-old did not resurface. Beachgoers and police searched the water for the 8-year-old.
At that location, the water drops off to a depth of about 20 feet before shallowing to 2 to 3 feet, about 75 yards offshore. The DNR said the girls were in the deeper area. The family said the girls were in the shallow area, but a wave pushed them out deeper.
Members of the Iosco Fire and Rescue dive team found the girl’s body near the bottom of the lake 50 yards from shore, 20 feet down.
The 8-year-old’s body was taken to Tawas St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in Tawas City where she was pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m. The Iosco County Medical Examiner requested the autopsy.
Family has identified the girl as Za-Ryia Reed. They are asking for prayers and would like to thank everyone who helped to try to save her.