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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Body found in Lake Michigan, identified as missing UIC student Natalie Brookson

Officials said a woman found dead last week in Lake Michigan has been identified as a missing 22-year-old student from the University of Illinois at Chicago, whose boyfriend also went missing and is still not found.

Natalie Brookson, who went missing on April 30, was pulled over from Lake Michigan on May 2 — and later formally identified by family members on Wednesday, officials told Fox 32.

According to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, an official cause of death has yet to be determined.

Brookson’s boyfriend, 26-year-old Daniel Sotello, who is also a UIC student, went missing the day before his girlfriend went missing.

Fox 32 reported that Sotello was last seen by his roommate after dropping him off at the Roosevelt Red Line stop near Roosevelt Road and State Street.

A few days later, a friend contacted Sotello’s sister and said that her brother had not been at home for several days. When friends and family members failed to get in touch with him, he filed a missing person’s report.

Sotello was just days away from graduating with a master’s degree in organic chemistry and missed graduation last weekend, his sister Jennifer told the outlet.

Authorities are looking for Natalie Brookson's boyfriend, Daniel Sotello.
Authorities are looking for Natalie Brookson’s boyfriend, Daniel Sotello.
Jennifer Sotello / Facebook

Sotello’s family members have previously said that they believe he may have been with Brookson, but this has not been confirmed.

“It’s so hard. I can only imagine as a parent how it would feel to have one of your kids missing,” said Jennifer Sotello. “I would just say to her, please come home, your There are so many family members, friends, cousins ​​around who are concerned about you and we just want to hear from you.”

A GoFundMe page has raised more than $18,000 to support the cost of Brookson’s funeral.

Natalie Brookson
Family members identify the body of Natalie Brookson pulled from Lake Michigan.
Daniel Sotello
According to her sister, Daniel Sotello was about to graduate with a master’s degree in organic chemistry.
Jennifer Sotello / Facebook

According to the fundraising page, Brookson was raised by a single mother and was a senior at UIC, earning a degree in psychology, while also working as a diet associate at Friedman Place – A housing community for the blind.

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