North Webster woman dies after incident in James Lake

A North Webster woman died Sunday after being pulled from James Lake.

Kosciusko County Deputy Coroner Mike Wilson identified the woman as Michelle Moore, 56, North Webster.

“It’s being investigated as an accidental death. We’re not sure if it’s related to drowning. We will know more tomorrow,” Wilson said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

Kosciusko County Dispatch received a call at 3:46 p.m. Sunday about a possible drowning. The caller said there was an unresponsive woman near the sandbar on James Lake.

Deputy Justin Smith, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, arrived at the scene 13 minutes later as North Webster Fire Paramedics were performing life-saving measures Moore on shore at 201 EMS T1 Lane.

Smith spoke to Moore’s longtime boyfriend, James D. Heath Sr. He said he and Moore were out on the boat for the afternoon, along with his son and his son’s girlfriend. Heath was distraught and unable to tell Smith much of what happened, according to a KCSD report. Heath did say that other than Moore having a cough for the last week and being on antibiotics, he did not believe she had any other medical issues.

Smith then spoke with two witnesses who said they saw a little bit of what happened. The first witness said she saw Moore swimming near the back of the boat and she seemed OK. She said she looked again and it appeared Moore was maybe struggling and making her way to shore as if something was wrong. About five minutes later, Moore was floating near shore on her side with her face in the water. The witness said several people rushed to help Moore and pulled her to shore.

A nearby nurse began CPR until medics arrived. After paramedics attempted to save Moore, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The scene was turned over to the Indiana Conservation Office and Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office.