Friends Set Up Memorial For 15-Year-Old Drowning Victim

Flowers, Cross Put At Last Place Will Schlotec Was Seen Alive

DULUTH, Minn. – Heavy hearts continue for friends and family of 15-year-old Will Schlotec who drowned over the weekend in the popular swimming hole known as The Deeps.

People close to Schlotec have begun to build a memorial at the site of the accident.

On Monday, friends showed up with flowers and comforting words for one another as the new school year approaches without their best friend.

Just two days after Schlotec drowned from a jump at The Deeps in Lester Park, thrill seekers continued to take the leap.

“I’m assuming it’s safe every time that I jump. I haven’t gotten hurt yet, but it’s a dangerous game,” said Alex Mott, who as jumping into The Deeps Monday.

This happened as Schlotec’s friends from Duluth East High School mourned at the growing memorial site just feet away.

“This can’t happen. Why Will? He’s probably the strongest person I knew on our team,” said Dillon O’Brien, a close friend of Schlotec.

O’Brien, 15, played on the lacrosse team with Schlotec.

“Knowing Will, he was a great guy. He always had a smile on his face,” said O’Brien

That smile, O’Brien said, came with strong leadership toward his teammates — always pushing them to be brave and live fearlessly just like his chose to do in his own life.

“He never gave up. He always told us to never give up, don’t stop,” said O’Brien

Meanwhile as the flowers and messages grow, friends are preparing for their sophomore year at Duluth East with a void they never imagined at this point in their lives.

“It’s going to be hard the first few weeks, knowing that he’s not there,” said O’Brien.

Funeral arrangements are set for Friday. Visitation is at 10 a.m. followed by a memorial service at noon at the Lutheran Church of Good Shepherd in Duluth.

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