🔴 Man drowns swimming in Crystal Lake

🔴 The area is private property

🔴 It's known for many drownings over the years


MANCHESTER — A dive team has successfully pulled a man's body from an aquifer at the Heritage Mineral property after a tragic drowning this weekend.

It's the latest death at "Crystal Lake" which is notorious for its drownings over the years. Visiting the privately owned property is not allowed and hundreds of people have been cited for trespassing.

Manchester police said a man drowned while visiting the 7,000-acre property with others Saturday morning.

Edwin Toro-Mejia, 33, of Howell went swimming with a younger family member around 9:30 a.m.

The pair tried to swim across Crystal Lake when Toro-Mejia had a muscle cramp around 30 yards from the shore. His family tried to rescue him but he went under and was taken by the current.

It took a search and rescue operation around an hour and a half to find Toro-Mejia's body. He was pulled out of the waters unresponsive and declared dead.

Manchester, NJ lake known for danger

While Crystal Lake looks like a natural body of water, it is actually the result of mining operations in the area. The lake is a groundwater aquifer, according to Manchester police.

"Seemingly unassuming, these bodies of water offer many dangers. Because the lakes were formed as a result of the mining operation, they do not have stable bottoms or shore lines, the way naturally occurring lakes do. The banks are very unpredictable and dangerously unstable," said police.

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