Man suffers muscle cramp before drowning while unlawfully swimming in NJ lake: police

A 33-year-old man is dead after officials say he accidentally drowned in a lake in Manchester Township Saturday. 

According to police, 33-year-old Edwin Toro-Mejia of Howell Township, unlawfully visited the Heritage Mineral property, a popular privately-owned 7000-acre tract of land in Manchester Township Saturday morning. 

He attempted to swim in the lake with other individuals around 9:30 a.m.

Toro-Mejia and a juvenile family member attempted to cross Crystal Lake when Toro-Mejia appeared to suffer from a muscle cramp in his leg and went into distress about 30 yards from the shoreline.  

Family members went to the aid of Toro-Mejia who had been submerged underwater and disappeared in the current.

Officials from multiple police and rescue departments responded to the scene where search and rescue operations were conducted for approximately an hour and a half before Toro-Mejia was located unresponsive.  

He was pulled from the water and pronounced deceased.  

The preliminary investigation indicates the drowning to be accidental. 

Anyone who may have been at Crystal Lake and witnessed this incident is asked to contact Detective Richard Jupinka of the Manchester Township Police Department’s Investigations Bureau at 732-657-2009 ext. 4206.

The following information is an important reminder to folks about unlawfully entering Heritage Mineral sites: 

The Manchester Township Police Department would like to remind the public that the Heritage Minerals or "ASARCO" site is private property. It is closed for recreational and/or other use, and it is a criminal offense to enter or remain on the property. In the interest of public safety, the Manchester Township Police urges everyone to obey the "No Trespassing" signs posted at the site. Trespassers are subject to substantial fines and penalties up to and including incarceration for being on the property.