BENZIE COUNTY, Mich. (WKRN) — Rescue crews recovered the body of a missing Manchester, Tennessee boy Wednesday, nearly two days after he fell off a pier into Lake Michigan.
Lane Frame, 12, was on vacation with his seven siblings and relatives in Frankfort when he was swept into the lake around 1 p.m. Monday.
“His father is in jail, and his mother’s in a halfway house, and my mother has raised them. so they have never been able to go on a vacation, so something that they wanted to be beautiful and memorable, turned to a tragedy,” Lane’s aunt, Fhonda Hatmaker told News 2.
Hatmaker explained that another aunt was walking along the concrete pier with four of the boys, when a large waves started hitting the pier. She said the two younger boys grabbed a pole to hang onto while the aunt, an 11-year-old and Lane were swept into the lake. The aunt saved the 11-year-old, but Lane disappeared under the water.
Rescue crews searched by air and water, hampered by bad weather, discovering the boy’s body in 10-feet of water by the pier just before 10 a.m. Wednesday.
“The weather conditions were horrible,” Benzie County Sheirff Ted Schendel told News 2, “The waves were just ridiculous, the water was all turned up, no visibility. We suspended the search after dark, and then on Tuesday, it was still the same if not worse… then on Wednesday we had all the divers ready to go and we started early this morning, lake had laid down flat, visibility was 10-20 feet and within an hour we found him.”
“He was so funny, so sweet, Super smart. He always wanted to take care of my mother. He was always like he was the little protector,” Hatmaker described Lane, “He loved skateboarding and star wars, his smile lit up a room. He had a hard life in the beginning and God had made it something beautiful for him.”
A Michigan resident started a GoFundMe fundraising page to help the family with costs of the additional days in Michigan and the funeral.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.