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Family, Friends Hold Vigil To Remember 13-Year-Old Drowning Victim

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A 13-year-old girl who drowned while swimming at Loyola Beach Friday is being remembered by family, friends, and the Chicago Police Officer who saved several lives that night.

With balloons, candles, and flowers in hand, dozens of friends and family walked the path at Loyola Beach to say goodbye to the 13-year-old who drowned while swimming with friends Friday night.

"R.I.P. Ari" was written on signs to remember 13-year-old Darianne Torres.

"It breaks my heart that she is gone," said Maria Maldonado, a friend of Torres.

"She was a really fun, energetic girl. She never stayed sad, always happy," remembered Emily Ramirez, another friend. "She made us laugh and gave us good advice in life."

Darianne Torres was swimming with other friends Friday near a jetty when the rough, powerful waters took over.

"They were pretty bad," said Chicago Police Officer Steven Ommundson. "I would have to say easily 4 to 6, 6 to 8 foot waves. I wish, as a policeman and lifeguard in the past, I would have been able to get them both."

Officer Ommundson was one of the first to arrive on the scene. He was able to rescue another 13-year-old girl. Several other teens were also rescued.

"When I started to run down to the beach,  I saw a female that was floating 20-40 feet past the jetty so I stripped down to my underwear basically and got her," he recalled.

Helicopters, boats, and Chicago Fire Department divers joined the search, trying to find Torres, but it was too late.

"I definitely think we should make sure there are lifeguards around or make sure there's some type of authority around that can take care of us," said Arturo Munoz, a friend of Torres.

As the waves remain constant, so do the emotions of losing a 13-year-old girl to the waters.

Friends and family are remembering Torres, placing small mementos near the spot she was found. Balloons were also released, as the people closest to her search for answers.

Torres' sister was at the vigil. She said her sister loved sports and was truly her best friend.

Funeral arrangements are set for this weekend.

Along with rescuing that other 13-year-old girl, Officer Ommundson rescued a fellow officer who also jumped in the lake and began to struggle, as well as a good samaritan who was in the water helping out with the rescue effort.

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