Chicago 19-year-old pregnant woman pulled from Lake Michigan, officials investigating death as homicide

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The body of a 19-year-old pregnant woman found in Lake Michigan had been stabbed multiple times, authorities said Saturday.

A fisherman found the body of Chicago resident Yarianna Wheeler in the water on Aug. 15 after she was floating for seven to 12 days — but she wasn’t identified until Saturday, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said.

Wheeler, who was six months pregnant, was originally from Bellwood, Indiana, the office said in a statement.

An autopsy revealed she had several sharp force injuries on her body, officials said, but the official cause of death is pending. Her death is being investigated as a homicide.

Wheeler was identified by the Lake County Coroner’s Office Forensic Odontologist using dental records.

Officials say she may have entered the water “anywhere from the northern Indiana shoreline to the northern Illinois shoreline of Lake Michigan.”

Hours after Wheeler’s body was discovered, a U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter also found the body of a man, identified as 49-year old Martin Mendoza of Waukesha, Wisconsin, however, officials say Mendoza drowned at the 63rd Street Harbor in Chicago and the incidents are not related.

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