Body of Dearborn Heights man who disappeared underwater in Lake Erie recovered, identified

Ghaleb Assaf’s body found near Sterling State Park, officials say

A U.S. Coast Guard boat on Lake Erie.
A U.S. Coast Guard boat on Lake Erie.

Officials have recovered and identified the body of a Dearborn Heights man who disappeared underwater while swimming in Lake Erie over the weekend.

Monroe County officials received a call at 6:44 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 29) about a missing swimmer about three-quarters of a mile off shore from Sterling State Park in Lake Erie.

Witnesses said the Ghaleb Assaf, 59, of Dearborn Heights, went into the water to swim from the boat he was on, but never resurfaced.

Firefighters from Frenchtown Township requested help from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office dive team. Officials were forced to suspend the search shortly afterward due to severe weather and dangerous lake conditions, they said.

The search continued Monday morning, and again on Tuesday. Assaf’s body was recovered from the lake around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in the area of Sterling State Park, according to authorities.


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Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.