Community Mourns Death of Teen Found in Lake Michigan

Posted at 6:58 PM, May 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-22 19:27:06-04

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. (May 22, 2014) — 17-year-old Jose Moreno is described as friendly, caring and respectful. He was a senior at West Ottawa High School who was looking forward to graduating on June 1.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s office says Moreno was with a friend when he jumped off the pier Wednesday evening and began to struggle. Officials say the friend tried to throw out a life ring but it was unsuccessful.

Emergency crews were able to locate Moreno a few hours later but he was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Principal Todd Tulgestke says they had a crisis team on hand Thursday for students and staff, he says Monero attended West Ottawa all four years. He also played soccer on the varsity team, a sport his friends say he had a real passion for.

Tulgeskte says Monero worked hard his senior year and was just recognized Wednesday among 70 other students who raised their GPA a full point within the last year.

“That just shows how serious he took his senior year and how committed he was to doing his best,” he said.

Tulgeskte says they talked with students this morning about the dangers of Lake Michigan. He says being a school on the lakeshore the dangers are a reality.

He says they plan to recognize Monero during graduation next week, and says the support of the students and staff will help them get through this.

The Ottawa County Sherriff’s department says there is no indication that that this had anything to do with the cold water challenge.