You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 5:56 a.m.

Sheriff's official: Waves, strong current carried teen who died in Lake Michigan away from shore

By Staff


Sheriff's officials search for 15-year-old Ypsilanti resident Raybeon Rochelle Jenkins.

Muskegon Chronicle photo

A 15-year-old Ypsilanti teenager who died in Lake Michigan was carried away from shore by waves and a strong current, a Muskegon County sheriff's official told MLive Sunday night.

“I think they were trying to get to the sand bar. It runs parallel to the beach,” Muskegon County Sheriff’s Deputy Todd Dunham said of Raybeon Rochelle Jenkins, who went missing while swimming in Lake Michigan two days earlier.

Her 14-year-old sister had also been caught by the waves and current but told authorities she was pulled from the water by a woman. The girls had been swimming Pere Marquette Park with two cousins.

Dunham, who is head of the sheriff's marine division, said the divers found Jenkins’ body around 4 p.m. Sunday on the south side of the pier roughly 10 feet below the Lake Michigan surface.

The day before, starting at 6 a.m., a team of divers from Muskegon, Norton Shores and Ottawa County made about 35 to 40 dives in effort to find the girl, Dunham said. The team searched for hours and made three more dives on Sunday, Jenkins said.

Jenkins, known to friends and family as Rochelle, had been spending the summer in west Michigan with relatives.


Moms Kitchen

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

Muskegon is spelled with an "O'. You've spelled it incorrectly in the first paragraph

Julie Baker

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 : 3:43 p.m.

Thanks, we've corrected it.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

It's been a very bad year on Lake Michigan. There have been so very many drownings this year...there have been at least six in the Traverse City area alone. It's heartbreaking.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 3:18 p.m.

Oh, how heartbreaking. To friends and family of Rochelle, I am so very sorry for your loss.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

I am so sorry for the family and friends of this young girl. We all need to be aware that this happens every year on Lake Michigan. These truly are GREAT Lakes, especially in size. Swimming in Lake Michigan is very different than swimming in Silver Lake. Undertows are hard to spot until they grab the swimmer and control them.


Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 7:53 p.m.

Unless you know how to get away from an under tow. Normally most swimmers freak out and panic. But if you let it get you and you relax you normally will pop right back up to the top. Happened to a friend of ours. She said it is a frightening experience but if you relax it is like a roller coaster ride. Good luck to the family.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 1:16 p.m.

Nothing can be said-----just so terribly sad.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

What a tragedy. RIP Rochelle.