Body of missing teen found in Lake Michigan

Riley Hoeksema generic_223581

PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Crews have found the body of a Holland Christian High School student who went missing after his boat capsized Sunday night in Lake Michigan.

The body of 16-year-old Riley Hoeksema was found around 12:00 p.m. Wednesday in about 27 feet of water by using side sonar. Divers pulled his body from the water, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

Riley went missing in the water around 8:40 p.m. Sunday, according to sheriff’s officials. He and a second teen, 16-year-old Levi Winkle, were in a Zodiac-style inflatable hull boat and took a quick turn, causing the boat to capsize.

Levi, whose name was confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 by family, was rescued by a good Samaritan in a passing boat about five or ten minutes after the boat capsized.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search late Monday afternoon after it had spent more than 17 hours and spanned 119 square miles trying to find Hoeksema.

Authorities found life jackets in the boat but neither of the teens, who are both from the Holland area and attend Holland Christian High School, were wearing them. It’s unknown how fast the boat was going when the teens were ejected from it. It was recovered nearby in about 20 feet of water near the Spyglass Condominiums.

Riley was the grandson of Russ’ Restaurant owner Bryan Bouws. Wednesday, a sign outside Russ’ said the family was mourning the loss and asked for prayers, also quoting Psalm 34:18.

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