A woman found dead in Lake Michigan last week has been identified as a missing 22-year-old University of Illinois Chicago student, whose boyfriend also went missing and still hasn’t been found, officials said.
Natally Brookson, who had disappeared April 30, was pulled from Lake Michigan on May 2 — and she was later formally identified by family members on Wednesday, officials told Fox 32.
An official cause of death is yet to be determined, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Brookson’s boyfriend, 26-year-old Daniel Sotelo, also a UIC student, went missing the day before his girlfriend vanished.
Sotelo was last seen by his roommate after he dropped him off at the Roosevelt Red Line stop near Roosevelt Road and State Street, Fox 32 reported.
Days later, a friend contacted Sotelo’s sister and said that her brother hadn’t been home in days. When friends and family failed to get in contact with him, they filed a missing persons report.
Sotelo was just days away from graduating with a master’s degree in Organic Chemistry and missed his graduation last weekend, his sister, Jennifer, told the outlet.
Sotelo’s family members had earlier said they believed that he may have been with Brookson, but that has not been confirmed.
“It’s very tough. I can only imagine as a parent how that would feel to have one of your kids go missing,” Jennifer Sotelo said. “I would just tell him, please come home, you’ve got a lot of family members, friends, cousins who are worried about you and we just want to hear from you.”
A GoFundMe page to support Brookson’s funeral costs has raised more than $18,000.
According to the fundraising page, Brookson was raised by a single mother and was a senior at UIC pursuing a degree in psychology while also working as a dietary aide at Friedman Place — a housing community for the blind.