UPDATE: Search for missing 23-year-old South Bend man focused on Lake Michigan

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PORTER, Ind. (WNDU) - Police are still putting the pieces together as they continue their search for a missing South Bend man.

Jacob Sandy

Jacob Sandy is a 23-year-old who hasn't been seen since apparently heading to Lake Michigan to kayak Saturday morning. Neither he nor his kayak have been found, though police found his car Tuesday afternoon.

Police now tell NewsCenter 16 that Sandy was spotted in an officer's dashboard camera recording from Saturday. The recording reportedly shows him right at the water of Lake Michigan.

Authorities also looked at surveillance footage from Indiana Dunes National Park, where his car was found Tuesday afternoon. The surveillance recording reportedly shows Sandy walking to and from the bathrooms. In the footage, he also is seen walking in the direction of the water.

Right now, all indications are that he went into the water.

Authorities have suspended the foot search through the hiking and running trails and are now mostly focusing on Lake Michigan.

A Coast Guard helicopter and a Lake County helicopter are doing surveillance in the area from the sky. Divers have not been sent into the water.

On Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time, Sandy's car was located by officers in the parking lot of Indiana Dunes National Park.

Sandy has lived in South Bend since October, moving to the city after college to work as an accountant.

His brother said he has always been an outdoorsman, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary for Sandy to strap his kayak on top of his blue PT Cruiser and head out for a kayaking trip this past Saturday. But he hasn't been heard from since.

Sandy's family drove through the night from metropolitan Detroit to do everything they can to find their missing son and brother.

"If anybody has any information that would be great," said Paul Sandy, Jacob's brother. "We’re hoping and praying for beloved Jacob to come home. Anybody’s help would be really appreciated. We’re just looking for a safe end to this little nightmare."

"We plead with you," said Carol Smith Sandy, Jacob's mother. "We are praying for Jacob’s safe coming home "

Police in Porter have taken over the investigation since Sandy's car was found in the Indiana Dunes.

Sandy is described as 5 feet, 11 inches tall and 150 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. Sandy was last seen in South Bend, where he works as an accountant.

Please call police at 235-9201 if you have any information



Update: The Indiana DNR released the following information Wednesday afternoon:


Indiana Conservation Officers are searching Lake Michigan for 23-year-old South Bend resident Jacob Sandy. On Monday, South Bend Police took a missing persons report after Sandy did not return home from kayaking on Lake Michigan Saturday afternoon.

Information including a description of Sandy’s vehicle was shared with surrounding agencies. On Tuesday afternoon, an Indiana Dunes National Park Ranger located the vehicle in a private parking lot near Porter Beach. Officers from the Porter Police Department responded and determined Sandy was not in the immediate area. Members of the Porter Fire Department assisted in the search of the area and personnel from Indiana Dunes State Park confirmed Sandy was not in the state park.

Review of security footage confirmed Sandy was in the area of Porter Beach at around 2:40 p.m. Saturday afternoon. A witness also observed Sandy kayaking offshore a short time before a strong storm came into the area.

Indiana Conservation Officers began a search of Lake Michigan on Wednesday morning, conducting surface and sonar searches. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit is also assisting by conducting surface searches by helicopter. Members of the Porter Fire Department have been conducting periodic searches of the shoreline.

As of the time of this release, neither Sandy nor his kayak have been located. Sandy was last seen Saturday afternoon in a light-colored Oru kayak (photo of kayak attached). Anyone with any information is asked to contact Indiana Conservation Officers Central Dispatch Center at 812-837-9536.

Indiana Conservation Officers are being assisted by Porter Police Department, Porter Fire Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and South Bend Police Department.