Sabanovic was last seen on May 12th when friends say she got lost on her way to a nightclub and began texting for help.
Friends say Saturday began with hope. They had gathered for a search effort Saturday morning when they received word that her vehicle had been located.
Her blue Ford Focus was pulled out of the Chicago River's North Branch Saturday afternoon after employees from a nearby car dealership spotted the vehicle.
The model and acting student was a Bosnian refugee. For the past several days, members of the Bosnian-American community organized to try to find her.
"She will be greatly missed, by not just her immediate family or her friends, but by our entire community because it's the first time that something like this has happened to us and it's just sad," said friend Evelina Mehanovic. "I think we all wished for a better outcome."
There is no bridge at the point in the river where the car was found. The road, Blackhawk Street, dead-ends at the river. There is a sign that says 'No Outlet', but some are questioning why there is no barrier.
"This is something they could have prevented, with no barriers, no reflectors," said family friend Clem Jaskot. "There is one on the other side of the street, but for some reason there wasn't one over here, and at the time of the accident, it had to be dark, maybe rainy. She couldn't probably see it, and now we have a loss."
There does not appear to have been foul play involved in this incident.
Sabanovic is survived by her father and two siblings. Her family recently experienced another tragedy with the death of her mother a year-and-a-half ago.
Nearly $15,000 had been raised during the search effort. ABC7 is told that that money, along with other donations, will now go toward her funeral arrangements.