Body ID'd as missing UofC student Austin Hudson-LaPore
June 19, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Authorities have positively identified the body of a man recovered from Lake Michigan Wednesday morning.
It has been identified as that of a University of Chicago student who disappeared a week ago. The body may have been in the water for some time, police said. The Marine Unit initially responded to the lakefront near the 3900-block of South Lake Shore Drive after fishermen said they spotted a body in the water.
Hudson-Lapore was identified by family members a few minutes after noon, a spokesman for the medical examiner's office said.
"Austin was a bright, promising student who was active on campus, had a great love for the outdoors, and was very engaged in the Shorey House community," University of Chicago Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Karen Warren Coleman said in a statement. "The University community sends our deepest sympathy and condolences to Austin's family and his friends here at the University and across the country. We will have more information soon about a memorial service to honor Austin's life."
Austin Hudson-Lapore's father was in Chicago from New Mexico as recovery teams pulled the body from the water. He said at that time he believed the body was his son but awaited confirmation.
"He is still in the grieving process, totally shaken by the discovery of this body, but at the same time, he has to wait for the positive identification. But he is in shock, wants to be close to his family, but he did think that it is good to have friends that he never knew, which is us working with him, the media working with him. It brings him some comfort," said family spokesman Andrew Holmes before the ID was confirmed.
An autopsy has to be performed to determine an exact cause of death.
"I got out and walked over to the lakefront, and I looked to my right, and I saw something in the water that appeared to be a log. So I looked a little closer, and it appeared to be a dummy, so I stopped fishing and went to look again, and then I asked a person that was over there exercising to come down and confirm. So they got excited, and they left, so that's when I called 911," said Eddie Hudson, the fisherman who spotted the body.
The search for the missing University of Chicago third-year student brought new clues Tuesday. A search dog was brought in to help look for Hudson-LaPore, 20. The search dog apparently picked up on the young man's scent and pulled its handler directly to the shoreline at Promontory Point.
Hudson-LaPore was last seen after his final exams nearly one week ago. On Monday, the family looked at some surveillance video near the route Hudson-LaPore may have taken, but there was no sign of the missing student.
A roommate says Hudson-LaPore left his Hyde Park apartment in the 5300-block of South Kimbark between 8:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Wednesday night and took keys, but left behind his cell phone and wallet with his ID.
His father believes his son may have walked to the lakefront to watch Wednesday's storm roll in, because the third-year biochemistry student was fascinated by the weather.
They have released a video on the websites, and are asking anyone with information to come forward.
Hudson-LaPore is described as 5'7" and weighing 110 pounds. He has dark blonde hair and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing black gym shoes and blue jeans.
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