Family of Austin Hudson-LaPore holds press conference

June 20, 2013 10:03:19 AM PDT
The family of a missing University of Chicago student whose body was found in Lake Michigan held a press conference Thursday.

The family said memorial services are still being planned for the 20-year-old student. They thanked searchers who recovered his body. Authorities positively identified the body of Austin Hudson-Lapore Wednesday. He was missing for one week, prompting searches by authorities, family, friends and volunteers.

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.

A roommate said 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.


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