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A Mystery as Two Students found Dead Weeks Apart

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Another body has been identified in Lake Michigan after the mystery of two missing students has been solved.

On April 30, Daniel Sotelo, 26, and Natally Brookson, 22, both from the University of Illinois-Chicago, went missing. Both have now been found dead.

Daniel Sotelo's body was found in Lake Michigan on May 22Credit: fox32chicago.com
Daniel Sotelo’s body was found in Lake Michigan on May 22Credit: fox32chicago.com

On May 22, the Cook County medical examiner confirmed the remains found in Lake Michigan near Wilmette were those of Daniel.

Just weeks before, on May 2, Natally’s body had been found at Bryn Mawr and Lake Michigan.

Daniel was last seen at the Roosevelt Red Line stop near Roosevelt Road and State Street, while Natally was last seen leaving work at Friedman Place.

The only person who knew he was going north was his roommate.

The authorities were alerted to the couple’s unknown whereabouts after worried friends and family noticed they couldn’t reach them.

In an unexpected turn of events, Daniel did not attend his graduation ceremony, according to his sister Jennifer.

Natally Brookson also went missing on the same day as her boyfriend and was found dead on May 2Credit: FOX 32 Chicago
Natally Brookson also went missing on the same day as her boyfriend and was found dead on May 2Credit: FOX 32 Chicago

Just days before her death, she was about to graduate with a master’s degree in Organic Chemistry from UIC.

Jennifer revealed that he’d been planning to continue working at a farm in Naperville in the future.

After Daniel’s body was found, his sister posted a statement on Facebook from his family.

In her letter, she wrote: “It is with heavy hearts that we announce Daniel has been found and is no longer with us.”.

“It was a blessing that Danny was able to spend the short time he did with my family and me; he was our guiding light.

The kindness in his eyes and the generosity in how he treated others were reflected in his eyes.

It is a privilege to have experienced his smile as many times as we did. It could warm anyone’s heart.

Despite our heartbreak, we are so grateful for the light he provided us for the past 26 years. Losing him is like losing the color in our world.

“May his soul rest in peace.” We hope and pray for this.

She had previously attended Roosevelt High School and was a psychology honors student at UIC.

Friends paid tribute to the 22-year-old on a GoFundMe page created to cover the costs of her funeral.

Both were students at UICCredit: fox32chicago.com
Both were students at UICCredit: fox32chicago.com

I was lucky to have had a friend like her who was supportive, caring, and selfless.

I don’t think Natalie deserves to endure this, even the tiniest bit. She is one of the kindest and sweetest people I’ve ever met.”

“Her kindness, generosity, and joy will live on in the hearts of everyone forever. We will miss you, Natally.”

Natally’s autopsy was inconclusive the day after her body was found, so the cause and manner of her death have not been determined.

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