FRANKFORT, Mich. — The family of 12-year-old Lane Frame said the boy's body was recovered from Lake Michigan on Wednesday morning.
Frame, from Manchester, TN, was visiting the area with his family. On Monday he and family members were swept off a pier into Lake Michigan. Two children and an adult were able to get out of the water. Frame was swept away.
Fourteen family members from Tennessee went to the Upper Michigan area on Saturday for vacation.
Lane’s uncle Jewell Frame said it’s been something he’s wanted to do for his nephews for quite a while.
“We planned the trip, got us all together, and rented a house up here," he said. "Come up here to go salmon fishing, see the great lakes, and stuff like that to have them something they’ve never seen before.”
As a part of the trip, the family went to the Frankfort North Pier Monday.
Shonda Reedy, the child's aunt, says she was in front with four of the kids including Lane.
“The first couple hundred feet, it was really safe, really dry,” but Reedy says as they kept walking the water starting hitting the pier and it got worse.
By then Jewell Frame says he was yelling to them to turn around but the boys were excited to get to the lighthouse. He was so concerned that he called Shonda on her cell phone to come back when he realized she couldn’t hear him.
“About that time one of my nephews said my foot slipped. And I said your foot slipped? And then my foot slipped. So I said, 'No, we’re going back. We’re going back right now.'” Reedy continues that she gathered the two youngest ones and told them to hold onto a pipe in the middle of the pier while she went to go get the older boys.
She says as she yelled to the boys as they continued toward the lighthouse, “all of a sudden a big wave come up and shot over their heads and grabbed all three of us and just knocked us off of the pier.”
While one grasped at the rebar on the side, she says “the other one I had seen had been pushed way out there.”
Reedy says she went to the one still clinging to the pier, “I picked him up and I hoisted him up onto the pier. I had him use my leg as a jumping board as you’d say. When he got there, I pushed myself off and I started swimming to the other one. And I didn’t see him anymore. He went down and he didn’t come back up.”
In trying to swim to Lane, Jewell Frame says Reedy became in trouble herself.
The uncle saying, “I was looking the water over trying to find little Lane and I see Shonda, and she was unresponsive just laying there. So I took that life preserver and I threw it at her.” He goes on to say, “she was about 100 feet from the pier and she would just lay there and wouldn’t do anything. So I just scream, scream, scream. I said Shonda you’ve got to grab it. You’ve got to and so I threw it back at her again, and finally I threw it kind of around her arm and she could feel it, she felt something hit her and she held on to it.”
“Jewell saved my life,” says Reedy. Unfortunately, from wave after wave pushing her down, she says she never saw Lane. “I saved three. I couldn’t save the other one.”
The sheriff's office said multiple agencies searched for 9.5 hours on Monday for the 12-year-old. The initial search was unsuccessful due to terrible weather conditions.
Before finding the boy's body, his family continued to hold out hope -- remaining thankful for everyone helping in the search.
Reedy says, “This community has really embraced us and helped us, and the people responding to this say they’re going to find Lane. I’m going to find him. We just want to take him back to Tennessee with us. We want him back in Tennessee. Whether that’s God gives us his life that he’s somewhere in an air pocket. We still hope for recovery. Not anything else.”
“We thank you for all the support and everything everybody has done. Please be praying that we find our baby and I know it’s a tragic thing. I mean things happen for a reason so just keep us in your prayers,” adds Jewell Frame.
Lane had three brothers and his grandmother Debbie says he liked Star Wars and playing computer games. She says, “he was so smart and could figure out things that I couldn’t figure out. He was my teacher for the other boys. He was my life.”
“He was strong and we called him Lane the Brain," says Shonda. "He was so intelligent.”