Local News

UW student who drowned in Lake Mendota identified

20-year-old went missing around 7 p.m. Wednesday

MADISON, Wis. - The name of the University of Wisconsin-Madison student who drowned in Lake Mendota Wednesday afternoon has been released.

Richard L. De La Cruz, 20, of Wauwatosa, had been swimming with two other friends in the area of the Porter Boat House in the 600 block of Babcock Drive when he did not resurface, according to a release.

"The three went out swimming. This one individual, about halfway there told the group he was getting tired, was having some issues, and was going to turn back and go to the dock," said Marc Lovicott, UW police information officer. "They said, ‘fine, we're going to keep going.' So they kept going. They got to the buoy, turned around and noticed their friend was gone."

Officials said autopsy findings are consistent with an accidental drowning.

Additional testing is being completed and the final cause of death will be determined based on the results of those tests, according to the release.

Investigators said alcohol was not a factor.

De La Cruz was a transfer student from Marquette University, according to a UW release.

"We offer our thoughts to his friends and family during this difficult time," UW Dean of Students Lori Berquam said in the release. "It is an unimaginable loss and one that comes just before the start of a new school year."

According to the release, the most recent student drowning in Lake Mendota was almost a year ago, when John Nguyen died.

Local And Regional News

Photo Galleries

E-News Registration

This Week's Circulars