9-year-old Hammond girl identified as drowning victim

A 9-year-old girl who died at a local hospital after she and another girl were struggling in Lake Michigan at Marquette Park Beach on Tuesday has been identified.

Tianna Hatten, of Hammond, was pronounced dead at 3:37 p.m. at Methodist Hospital Northlake, according to the Lake County Coroner’s Office. Her cause of death was asphyxia due to drowning and her death was ruled an accident, according to the coroner’s office.

School City of Hammond Superintendent Scott Miller issued a statement sharing condolences.

“The School City of Hammond is grieving alongside the family on this tragic loss of young life. We have reached out to the family and have offered out support,” Miller said.

At 2:25 p.m. Tuesday, Gary beach patrol and Gary Fire Department units were informed that two children were drowning in an unguarded portion of the beach, according to press releases from the Gary Police Department and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

A 14-year-old girl was saved by visitors, but the other girl was not nearby. The beach patrol and fire department units began a chain search in the water while a Lake County Sheriff’s Department helicopter searched overhead, located the missing female in the water, and directed responders to her location, the DNR said.

The girls were taken to Methodist Hospital Northlake by ambulance, where the teen was treated and released, but Hatten was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to the DNR.

The Lake County Marine Unit, the Portage Marine Unit and the Coast Guard assisted in the rescue.

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