LORAIN, Ohio (WJW) — Lorain County authorities say they believe the deaths of two friends, whose bodies were discovered in Lake Erie nearly two months after they disappeared, were the result of a tragic accident.
On Monday night, divers located a car at the bottom of the lake off of a pier at the Hot Waters Marina in Lorain. Inside the car, authorities found the body of 18-year-old Alaina Camacho, one day after a fisherman found the body of Camacho’s friend, 20 year old Nathan Orona, floating in the lake near the pier.
The discovery of the two bodies ends a mystery that began during the early morning hours of Feb. 1, when Alaina Camacho and Nathan Orona disappeared, after leaving Nathan’s apartment in Sheffield Township.
“This is certainly not the outcome we wanted, I know the families obviously didn’t want this outcome, the community didn’t want the outcome, and our hearts go out to the Camacho family as well as the Orona family and we extend our condolences,” said Lt. Robert Vansant with the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators are waiting for autopsy results and the coroner’s verdict on the cause of the deaths, but they believe Alaina Camacho and Nathan Orona drowned after driving off the pier.
“There was no trauma to either of the bodies, the indications that we had from the family members, they were never suicidal, there were never any suicide attempts in the past, so everything we have so far is leaning toward it being an accident,” said Vansant.
As part of the investigation, detectives are planning to examine the event data recorder inside the car to see if it will shed any light on how fast the car was going at the time it drove off the pier.
Authorities believe Alaina and Nathan were unaware of the danger they were in while driving on the pier in the dark.
“The night they went missing, it was storming pretty bad, it was early morning hours, we’re surmising that they went down there to be alone and talk, just didn’t know that the pier was coming to an end,” said Vansant.
The mayor of Lorain says as a result of the tragedy, the city plans to place barriers and warning signs on the piers at Hot Waters.
“To my understanding, nothing like this has ever happened before, but we understand that the city should take some precautions to make sure that something like this does not happen again,” said Mayor Jack Bradley. “The city needs to at least put up some signage to keep vehicles off of those piers after sunset and before sunrise and to warn people that it’s dangerous and not to park close to the edge.”