'Little things make a difference;' Family of missing South Bend kayaker asks for public's help

NOW: ’Little things make a difference;’ Family of missing South Bend kayaker asks for public’s help

PORTER, Ind. --- The search for a missing South Bend man is still on and his family is still not giving up hope.

Crews have been searching day and night for 23-year-old Jacob Sandy who took a trip to go kayaking on Lake Michigan on May 18.

“We wanted to let people know that this search is going hard. We want to let people know that little things make a difference,” Paul Sandy said, Jacob’s brother.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources said an individual picked up Jacob’s light-colored Oru kayak on Tuesday May 21 in New Buffalo; around 18 miles away from where he was last seen near the Indiana Dunes State Park.  

The individual saw a picture of Jacob’s kayak and contacted law enforcement, according to the Indiana DNR.

Jacob’s family said every little detail in this search matters and they are pleading with the public to be on the lookout for a few more of Jacob’s things including what he was last seen wearing.  

“He had Adidas slide sandals, he had multicolored swimsuit that’s featured on the flyer and like a red or maroon shirt with the number  16 on the back, he had like a spray skirt thing on the kayak that helped keep water on the kayak and none of those things have been found yet,” Paul said.

In a photo posted in the Chicago Tribune, Jacob is seen with three other beachgoers. Jacob’s mom, Carol Smith Sandy, believes they have important information on his whereabouts and she’s asking for their help.

“If those people who saw a young man with a kayak going to the water, if they could contact Indiana DNR, that could be very helpful, telling directions of which way he went,” Carol said.

The search for Jacob continued Tuesday with both the DNR and Coast Guard participating in looking both on the lake and shoreline.

Jacob’s brother Paul said the community is also stepping up to help with the search. The non-profit drown victim search team ‘Bruce’s Legacy’ and the Great Lakes Drone company also have become a part of the search. 

The search can be continued by anyone in northwest Indiana, however. Anyone who wishes to help with the search efforts can contact Jacob’s family via this Facebook page.

Anyone with any information on Jacob’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact Indiana Conservation Officers Central Dispatch Center at 812-837-9536.

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