Pregnant woman found dead in Lake Michigan identified via dental records as Chicago resident, 19

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A 19-year-old Chicago resident has been identified as the pregnant woman found dead in Lake Michigan earlier this month, the Lake County sheriff’s office said in a news release.

The body was recovered from the lake Aug. 15 after a fisherman saw it floating in the water about 3 miles southeast of Waukegan Harbor. The woman who died was identified by the Lake County coroner’s office this weekend as Yarianna Wheeler.

She was about six to seven months pregnant when she died, the sheriff’s office said in an earlier news release, and her body had likely been in the water for no more than seven to 12 days.

Wheeler’s autopsy showed she had suffered “several sharp force injuries,” though an official cause of death was still pending.

Wheeler, who was originally from Bellwood, was identified based on a tip received by Lake County sheriff’s detectives. The Lake County coroner’s office forensic odontologist made the identification using Wheeler’s dental records.

Her death is being investigated as a homicide.

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