Our network

Search continues for missing boaters | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Search continues for missing boaters

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) - The search continues for two missing boaters. Aaron Juarez and Chris Thode are from West Michigan and went missing more than a week ago on Lake Michigan.

"The worst week of my life, the worst week, it feels like we've been going through this for a month," says Renee Palermo, the sister of Aaron Juarez.

"It's been terrible, but I just hope and pray that everyday gets better and that we have some kind of closure to this awful tragedy in our family," says Victor Juarez, the father of Aaron Juarez.

The Coast Guard ended its search Thursday after covering nearly 4,000 square miles, but the family still wants answers. A new discovery of an unknown object at the bottom of Lake Michigan could bring answers.

"It was found 500 yards from the last ping of Aaron's cell phone," says Palermo.

That has led them to believe it may be the boat. The Ottawa County Sheriff's Department sent a remote operating vehicle to the area Tuesday.

"The impact on the bottom of the lake looks like it was relatively fresh, the spread of the sand," says Palermo.

There's no word yet from officials if the object is the boat. Meanwhile, the family needs more resources.

"We're still in need of anyone who could help with larger boats and captains of boats," says Juarez.

Palermo is struggling to find answers.

"I'm not comfortable with the unknown, and I want a little piece of my brother; I want to know he was out there, and I want to know he was fishing," says Palermo. "I want to see some evidence or proof that he was there."

The family has set up a GoFundMe page here to help with expenses related to the search.