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Body of student found in Lake Michigan

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A week after 20-year-old Austin Hudson-LaPore went missing, his father, Gregg LaPore, told his son’s friends, family and search volunteers all over the country that, while he appreciated their help and support, they might not want to get their hopes up.

“We want you all to be prepared for some possible hard news,” LaPore wrote on a social media website Wednesday morning. “A body was recovered from the lake near South 39th Street in Chicago. We are waiting to hear from the medical examiner’s office now.”

A few hours later, the family confirmed that it was Hudson-LaPore’s body pulled from Lake Michigan, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Hudson-LaPore was an Albuquerque native and junior at the University of Chicago, where he studied biochemistry.

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During a storm on June 12 in Chicago, Hudson-LaPore left his Chicago apartment without his wallet or cellphone to watch the rain and wind pummel the lakeside, family members believe. He was then reported missing.

The announcement of Hudson-LaPore’s death sparked an outpouring of support from all over the country, including a letter from the University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer and Albuquerque Academy, where Hudson-LaPore attended high school.

Zimmer, in a letter to the University of Chicago community, expressed condolences for a student he said had a promising future and love of the outdoors.

“Austin was a bright, promising student who was looking forward to furthering his studies in biochemistry,” Zimmer wrote in the letter. “… We will continue to remember him and celebrate his life.”

Those who knew Hudson-LaPore have described him as a voracious reader and eager learner on a variety of subjects, including the weather. Zimmer said in the letter that it’s possible the student’s interest in the climate is what compelled him from his safe apartment into the intense thunderstorm last week.

Online scoresheets show him as an accomplished “Quiz Bowl” participant, where he competed on behalf of the university in trivia contests that challenged competitors’ knowledge of history, literature and science.

Family members could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The head of school for Albuquerque Academy said in a Wednesday statement that the world had lost a “great mind and a great spirit with Austin’s passing.”

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