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Lake Mendota drowning victim identified as UW-Madison student

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A 20-year-old man who drowned in a Madison lake was just about to start his first classes at the UW.

The victim was identified Thursday as Richard De la Cruz of Wauwatosa.

Preliminary autopsy results show that he accidentally drowned while swimming with friends in Lake Mendota on Wednesday.

Students tried saving De la Cruz soon after he struggled and went under. Rescuers pulled his body from the water over three-and-a-half hours later.

De la Cruz had just transferred from Marquette, and was about to start his first semester at UW-Madison.

Dean of Students Lori Berquam issued a statement that extended thoughts and prayers to De la Cruz’s relatives and friends.