CHICAGO (CBS) – The family of a University of Chicago student whose body was found in Lake Michigan on Wednesday, a week after he went missing, said the death appeared to be a tragic accident during last week’s heavy storms.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports 20-year-old Austin Hudson-Lapore’s father, mother, sister, and aunt stood in front of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on the university’s Hyde Park campus on Thursday, to thank those who helped with the search and offered support.
“This experience has shown the goodness in so many people,” said his aunt, Leigh Lapore-Harris.
A fisherman spotted Austin’s body in the lake early Wednesday, and his family later identified the body.
His family said it appears Austin ventured out into the storm that blew through Chicago on June 12 to observe the weather first hand.
Gregg Lapore said his son loved the weather, science, and statistics.
“He would get up in the morning at 3, and watch the Weather Channel,” he said.
Lapore-Harris said her nephew died doing what he loved.
“A stormy night on the lakefront would have been hard for him to resist,” Lapore-Harris said. “What we see so far suggests that this was a tragic accident. Austin loved watching the weather. It looks like he just went a little too far out on the rocks, and slipped, and was caught in a wave.”
His family has said Austin likely went to Promontory Point, which is surrounded by an uneven, rocky wall along the shoreline. The point is located about two miles south of where his body was found.
Austin’s mother, Laurie Hudson, said he lived intensely. She also said he was beating her at Scrabble at age 10.
“One thing we ask of all of you, is to live just a little bit larger, to fill in some of the space he leaves behind,” she said.