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Cause of Death Released for Krzysztof Szubert, Months After Body Found in Lake Michigan

An update in one of two highly-publicized drownings in the Chicago area has left many questioning

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Months after Krzysztof Szubert's body was found in Lake Michigan waters after disappearing from a party in Chicago's River North neighborhood, a cause of death has been released.

According to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office, Szubert died by drowning, with ethanol intoxication as a contributing factor. It was ruled an accident.

Szubert, a 21-year-old Polish businessman working in Chicago, was found unresponsive in Lake Michigan off Oak Street Beach on Dec. 7. He had been reported missing from a River North party and was the subject of a major search effort before his body was discovered.

His death came just days before 25-year-old Peter Salvino, a Northwestern doctoral student who was also found in Lake Michigan after disappearing from a party in Lincoln Park.

Last month, the Cook County Medical Examiner's office released the cause and manner of death for Salvino, listing it as a "drowning with ethanol intoxication as a contributing factor." The manner of death was ruled an accident.

But Szubert's case remained unanswered as detectives referred to the incident as a death investigation rather than a drowning.

In late-December, the medical examiner told NBC Chicago the cause of death for Szubert could not be determined until a police investigation was completed.

"The police have to finalize their report and investigation," the spokesperson said at the time. "Once we have all the information from the police, then we determine the manner and cause of death after that."

Szubert was last seen at approximately 9:45 p.m. on Dec. 3 during a holiday party at the River North bar Howl at the Moon, officials said.

Friends say that Szubert was at the party when he stepped outside.

"I saw him standing there, then the next moment he wasn’t there,” friend Michal Wojasinski told NBC 5. “Nobody saw him leaving. The next day, on Sunday, I went to his room and knocked on door – it was empty – he was not there.”

At approximately on 1:55 a.m. Dec. 7, police responded to a call about a 21-year-old man who was found unresponsive in the water near the 1000 block of North DuSable Lake Shore Drive. The man was later identified as Szubert.

Szubert was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later, police said.

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