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Officials: Body Found In Lake Is Missing Oak Lawn Man

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Alpha Sabbithi, 27, was reported missing after he was last seen on Aug. 19, 2012. His body was found two days later in a lake in a Cook County forest preserve. (Credit: Oak Lawn Police)

Alpha Sabbithi, 27, was reported missing after he was last seen on Aug. 19, 2012. His body was found two days later in a lake in a Cook County forest preserve. (Credit: Oak Lawn Police)

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PALOS PARK, Ill. (STMW) – Officials confirmed the body of a man found Tuesday morning in a Cook County forest preserve is that of a missing Oak Lawn man whose car, wallet and cell phone were found Sunday at the preserve.

Alpha Sabbithi, 28, of the 4100 block of West 93rd Street in Oak Lawn, was found unresponsive in a lake near 95th Street and Wolf Road, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. He was dead at the scene.

A citizen spotted the body of a man at 8:40 a.m. Tuesday in Maple Lake, located near that intersection in unincorporated Palos Park, Cook County Forest Preserve Officer Karen Vaughan said.

Oak Lawn police had been looking for Sabbithi, who suffers from depression and was last seen Sunday, according to a missing persons alert issued Monday, his 28th birthday.

There were no signs of foul play found Tuesday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman for Cook County Sheriff’s office.

An autopsy to determine the cause and manner of his death is scheduled for Wednesday.

Oak Lawn police Division Chief Mike Kaufmann said late Monday afternoon that police spent much of the day searching Maple Lake, Saganashkee Slough and the Cal Sag Channel without finding a trace of evidence.

Police used boats to search the lake and the slough, which is west of 104th Avenue and south of 107th Street. They also used a helicopter, on loan from the Cook County Sheriff’s Department and Chicago Police to fly over the channel, Kaufmann said.

Friends of the Sabbithi family also searched the forests near the lake and slough Sunday and Monday, said Victor Sabbithi, the missing man’s brother. Like the police, they found no clues.

Victor Sabbithi said six friends braved heavy rains Monday to walk up and down trails in the forest.

Alpha Sabbithi was supposed to start a new job Tuesday in the IT department at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, where he is enrolled, Victor Sabbithi said.

Police said they found his car about 4 a.m. Sunday parked near Maple Lake. Inside the locked car, they discovered his cell phone, wallet and car keys, the alert said.

A bloodhound led police to a boat launch for the Saganashkee Slough, the alert said, but Sabbithi was not found.

Victor Sabbithi said Sunday that Sabbithi recently returned from a monastery in Michigan and was acting calmer since his return.

“It was a personal thing for him,” he said of his brother’s two-week retreat.

He added that his brother, whom he last saw Saturday, was not acting unusual and did not seem disturbed about anything.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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