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Man dies trying to rescue his dog

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It was a warm Saturday afternoon in Chicago. Michael Fernandez and his girlfriend were enjoying a leisurely walk in the park with his dog, Sora.


The 1-year-old pup fell into Chicago’s Lincoln Park Lagoon and was having trouble getting back to shore. The Filipino American limo driver and his girlfriend, Ashley Sadefur, jumped into the water to rescue the struggling dog.


Sandefur “did try to get into the water, but because of the high weed content right here at the shore she (couldn’t) get very far in,” Chicago Fire Department Deputy District Chief Jason Lach told WGN.


Sadefur and Sora were able to make it back to shore but Fernandez failed to surface. 


Authorities searched for several hours, but poor visibility, murky water and hazardous conditions in the lagoon, which is 18-feet deep in some places, caused rescuers to postpone their search until Sunday.

Divers were able to locate the body just after 1 p.m. Sunday, and his family later confirmed it was Fernandez’s.



Members of the victim’s family are calling into question what they see as a safety issue at the park, WGN reported.

“There’s no safety features at all,” Arthur Fernandez, Michael Fernandez’s uncle, said.

“There’s no fences here, to keep kids and everybody from not falling into the lagoon,” he said.

The 29-year-old Michael Fernandez is the son of Katherine “Kandy” Fernandez-Palacios and Yalcin Atli.

Arthur Fernandez said his nephew and his dog were inseparable.

To help shoulder the expense of funeral service. They are trying to raise $10,000 dollars for the memorial.

“The whole family’s devastated,” Fernandez said to CBS Chicago. “Makes you feel like you’re in a dream.”


His memorial visitation is slated on Friday, Aug. 30, at Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home in Cicero Avenue, Chicago. ParagraphStart with the building block of all narrative.Font SizeDrop Cap

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Family and friends of Fernandez set up an online fund drive at GoFundMe to help shoulder the expense of funeral service. They are trying to raise $10,000 dollars for the memorial.


His memorial visitation is slated on Friday, Aug. 30, at Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home in Cicero Avenue, Chicago.

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