Friends, family remember 19-year-old swimmer found Sunday

NOW: Friends, family remember 19-year-old swimmer found Sunday

CUDAHY, Wis. (CBS 58) — The pain of losing Aaron Polnitz is felt by his girlfriend. 

“I’m gonna miss his smile and his goofiness,” said Ambria Champion. 

He is already so missed by his sister.

“Everything, just being able to hear him, and see him,” said Aleah Polnitz.

The pain is also felt by his friends, including two who were with him last Monday in Lake Michigan. 

“We were kind of treading water, and he swam out to us really fast, and as soon as he got to us, ‘Help, I’m drowning,'” said Tyler O’Brien. 

They said they tried to pull him back to shore.  

“We pulled him at least half-way, and then we had no strength left,” said Kiril Lauzums.

Losing strength, Lauzums said he found a log he hoped would provide support for Polnitz.

“I see the log start floating away, and then I see him go above water like to his nose, and then went under, back up, and then he looked straight at me and he went back under, and I didn’t see him again.”

For nearly a week they all waited  

“It felt like forever,” said Aleah Polnitz.

Then his family saw the news Sunday and got a visit from officers - a body had been found at Warnimont Park.  

“He has a tattoo of my mom’s name on his forearm, and I asked do they know if they saw the tattoo,” said Aleah Polnitz.

The tattoo was there, and the pain of not knowing where he was, was replaced with the pain of knowing he was gone. 

“There’s no hope now that he’s out there,” she said.

Aaron's sister says she knows the friends who were with him tried their hardest to save him, and that their family thanks them for all they tried to do.


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