MISSING MAN WITH DEMENTIA FOUND DEAD
Ronald Skertic, 66, wandered away from home on Monday
LAKE STATION — The search for a missing Lake Station man ended early Saturday when his body was found in a drainage ditch just off Ripley Street near Interstate 80/94.
Ronald Skertic, 66, a physically and mentally disabled man missing since Monday, lived at Lake Park Residential Care Center, 2075 Ripley St.
About 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Lake Station Police Chief Kevin Garber said his department received a call from a resident of the 3400 block of East 21st Avenue about the body of an elderly man matching Skertic’s description in the ditch.
The area is a high-traffic spot, and Lake Park residents frequently shop at nearby gas stations and fast-food restaurants.
The resident who found Skertic watched as police and Lake County coroner officials retrieved the body. Skertic’s brother and sisterin-law stood watch nearby.
They did not comment Saturday, but earlier this week, Marilyn Skertic described her brother-in-law as “frail” and “not healthy men- tally and physically.”
Skertic’s disappearance early this week prompted a wide-ranging search that involved about 30 searchers, helicopters, all-terrain vehicles and more, Garber said.
Word of his disappearance drew “multiple leads,” from as far away as Hammond and Crown Point, Lake Station Police Detective David Johnson said.
Skertic’s body was found partially submerged in water in the ditch, Garber said.
As the investigators retrieved the body, police officers held up red and white tarps to block the views of motorists on Ripley Street and onlookers.
Lake Station police officers hold up a red tarp to shield the view of motorists and onlookers as Lake Coroner investigators load the body of Ron Skertic, 66, into a van. Skertic had been missing since Monday, prompting a wide-ranging search.