The student's father says his son may have walked to the lakefront to watch Wednesday's storm roll in and that's when something may have happened.
The third-year biochemistry major had just finished his final exams on Wednesday. His family said he was feeling upbeat and was not the type to simply disappear.
It was a plea for help from a family fearing the worst.
"We love Austin very much," his father, Gregg LaPore said. "He's a smart, happy, and outgoing young man who was fully engaged in his community. And we'd like your help in getting him safely back."
Twenty-year-old Austin Hudson-LaPore was last seen Wednesday night as severe weather was rolling through the area.
The family says, according to a roommate, Hudson-LaPore left his Hyde Park apartment in the 5300-block of South Kimbark between 8:30 and 10 that night, taking his keys but leaving behind his cell phone and wallet with ID.
"We think that because he was going out in a storm, he wanted to protect those things. And he's a very outdoorsy guy," Gregg LaPore said.
Relatives say Hudson-Lapore, A third year University of Chicago student, Is a former National Science Bowl contender With a passion for meteorology.
His family believes he may have headed to the lake to observe the storm.
"He would have walked along either 53rd Street or 55th Street," Gregg LaPore said. "We believe that during his walk to the lake, something went wrong."
Hudson-LaPore is described as 5'7", 110 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes, and he was last seen wearing black gym shoes and blue jeans.
"He's a very outdoorsy guy and wouldn't think anything of going for a walk in a driving rainstorm if he got to see something really exciting," said Gregg LaPore.
Hudson-LaPore is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. His parents and sister flew to Chicago Friday. They said Hudson-LaPore was planning on staying the summer in Chicago and had found work at a laboratory on campus.