ERIE, Pa. -- The woman who went missing on Lake Erie Sunday has been identified as 51-year-old Karen Leclair of Albion.
The Pennsylvania State Police released her identity Tuesday as the missing person investigation continues.
It was also Tuesday that a friend learned the news.
"I knew about the incident on the boat, but I never knew that it was Karen until a friend of mine kept calling me on the phone, and I would answer the phone. And after the fourth call, I'm like 'I better answer the phone' and that's when she told me," said Laurie Riddle of Erie.
Riddle said Leclair was hard to get to know, but becoming friends was rewarding.
"She would give you the shirt off her back. She was the sweetest person. It's just hard to believe that something like this could happen. I've been on that boat, and she loved going out on the boat.”
Riddle said she has known the Leclairs for about a half-decade. For a period of time, she worked for Christopher Leclair, Karen’s husband.
"It seemed like he really loved her and just cared a lot and he would just about do anything for her."
But Riddle has read some of the rumors and speculation on social media about what might have happened to Mrs. Leclair.
"As far as the rumors go, they shouldn't be there until someone knows for sure what happened,” she said.
For now, she is still holding out hope.
"I would pray to God that she would be out there somewhere. That's all I can do is pray."
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