Aaron Carter, 17, disappeared in Lake Michigan last year

Aaron Carter, 17, disappeared in Lake Michigan last year

Authorities search for Aaron Carter’s cause of death as clues emerge

The man police identified as Aaron Carter in search-and-rescue operations Wednesday for an apparent drowning had no criminal record at the time of his death.

But since his death, an internal investigation conducted by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and information from interviews conducted with his mother, his mother’s attorney and his friend have revealed new details about Carter, a 17-year-old Westmont student who disappeared last year while taking a dip in Lake Michigan.

Carter was reported to be alive on Feb. 12, 2016, when he was last spotted on footage from WKSC-TV. In addition to his swim trunks, he was wearing a gray baseball cap, blue jean shorts and black shoes that were partially submerged, he later told a sheriff’s deputy who spotted him in the water.

At least one of the images he was wearing turned out to be a surveillance film of a man, and a sheriff’s department source said Carter was seen wearing a swim cap, a long-sleeved T-shirt and faded blue jean shorts.

“You could make an educated guess,” said Dan Murphy, the deputy who spotted the child on Wednesday. “He was wearing some blue pants. He was wearing sweats. He was wearing some blue jean shorts. And he was wearing a swim cap.”

Aaron Carter’s mother, Terri Carter, talks to NBC 4 Chicago

But it took a more detailed search and an investigator with the sheriff’s office’s cold case unit to determine Carter had died. Investigators on Wednesday began searching for his body in Michigan and elsewhere but so far have had no success. In the meantime, questions remain about whether Carter was wearing swimming trunks, whether he was wearing life jacket or boots, and whether he had medical issues, the source said.

In recent weeks, Terri Carter has been trying to obtain information from the county medical examiner’s office about her son’s medical condition.

Terri Carter said she was concerned that if her son’s body was never found, his family would never know what had happened to him.

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