5-year-old Dowagiac boy drowns in Twin Lakes Tuesday night

Published 11:07 pm Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A 5-year-old Dowagiac boy drowned in Twin Lakes near Dowagiac Tuesday night.

An investigation identified the victim as Gabriel Mahler, the son of Tamara Mahler of Dowagiac and Randy Devereau of Niles.

Cass County Sheriff Joseph M. Underwood Jr. reports his office investigated a call at 5:33 p.m. Tuesday indicating a male had fallen through the ice on Big Twin Lake in Wayne Township.

Gabriel, a Justus Gage Preschool student in Dowagiac, wandered off toward the lake when he walked home from his neighbor’s house.

After attempting to locate Gabriel and noticing his tracks led to the water, his family called 911.

Responders were able to locate Gabriel in a large open body of water in front of the residence.

Ice rescue personnel removed him from the water.

He was transported to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital, where they were unable to revive him.

He was pronounced dead at at the hospital.

Cass County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by Wayne Township Fire and Rescue, Sister Lakes Fire and Rescue and Pride Care ambulance.

According to the obituary, Gabriel is also survived by his grandparents, Walter and Christine Linn of Dowagiac and Melvin Mahler of Osceola, Ind. Gabriel loved animals, fishing, riding his bike and playing guitar; he idolized Buddy Holly.

The funeral will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Niles. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles. Burial will be at Silverbrook Cemetery.