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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 26, 2014 at 9:44 AM

3 bodies of family members found in Oregon lake

The Associated Press

Update at 2:35 p.m.: GASTON, Ore. — Divers recovered the bodies of a 40-year-old mother and her two children who apparently drowned in a popular lake west of Portland on Tuesday, a day after finding another family member — a 3-year-old grandson — drowned in the lake.

The family — who lived together in nearby Hillsboro — had gone to Henry Hagg Lake on Monday for a picnic.

It is not clear what happened there, but law officials said they found no signs of foul play.

“There is no suspicion of any criminal activity. We’re just considering this a tragic accident,” said Sgt. Bob Ray of the Washington County sheriff’s office.

Sheriff’s deputies identified the three bodies found Tuesday as those of 40-year-old Jova Ixtacua-Castano and her two children, 25-year-old Gabriela Garcia-Ixtacua and 13-year-old Michael Garcia-Ixtacua.

The sheriff’s office said Gabriela was the mother of the 3-year-old found Monday night, Jeremy Scholl.

The three bodies were discovered about 40 feet offshore in 8 feet of water, and some 50 yards from where the 3-year-old was found.

Authorities worried there might be other victims after the 3-year-old was found because the family’s car was still at the scene and there was no sign of them.

Also found at the site Monday evening were a beach towel, a cooler, shoes and other personal items, as well as a small dog on a leash.

The lake is a busy recreation site, drawing 800,000 visitors a year, 6,000 a day on a busy summer weekend, officials said. It also provides drinking water for Portland suburbs.

There are no lifeguards because of the lake’s size, nearly 2 square miles, but the sheriff’s office uses a vessel on weekends.

Update at 1:26 p.m.: GASTON, Ore. — Divers have recovered the bodies of three family members from a Portland-area reservoir a day after the body of a 3-year-old child who had apparently drowned was found.

Authorities said Tuesday the three bodies were in about 8 feet of water. They say there’s no evidence of foul play, and a sheriff’s spokesman says the deaths are considered accidental.

The family members were a 40-year-old woman and her two children, a 25-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy.

Sgt. Bob Ray of the Washington County sheriff’s offices says the 25-year-old woman was the mother of the child found Monday.

They lived in nearby Hillsboro.

Update at 12:07 p.m.: GASTON, Ore. — A day after a 3-year-old boy drowned in a reservoir west of Portland, divers are searching the water for three of his missing family members.

Officials say there is no sign of foul play in the drowning of the boy in Henry Hagg (HAHG) Lake or the disappearance of three of his relatives — two adults and another child.

Authorities have not yet said exactly how the four people are related, but said they are from nearby Hillsboro.

Police say the four went to a picnic area at the lake on Monday. The boy’s body was found Monday night. The family’s car was also found at the lake.

Original post: GASTON, Ore. — Searchers who fear there are more victims are looking for family members of a young child who apparently drowned during a day at the beach along a reservoir west of Portland.

Fire officials said they found a beach towel, a cooler, shoes and other personal items Monday after they tried to resuscitate the child, who was about 4 years old. The Oregonian reports they’re also caring for a small dog they found on a leash.

The boy wasn’t identified. Washington County deputies say the items on the beach belonged to a person whose vehicle was in a parking lot at Henry Hagg Lake. A search was suspended Monday night and was resuming Tuesday.

Deputies said they were called to the reservoir by people who found the boy in the water.

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