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Missing 23-Year-Old Pulled from Chicago River Died From Drowning, But Death Cannot Be Determined an Accident: MEO

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Iñaki Bascaran, the Lakeview man found in the Chicago River a week after leaving a River North bar last fall, died from drowning, the Cook County medical examiner’s office has ruled.

However, investigators were unable to determine if his death was an accident. The manner of death was listed as “undetermined” by the office on Jan. 22.

In November, authorities said Bascaran was recovered from the river in the 1000 block of South Wells. He was found unresponsive and was pronounced dead, according to police.

According to authorities, Bascaran, a graduate of the University of Illinois, hadn't been heard from since the early morning on Oct. 31, 2021. Bascaran was last seen at Celeste, located in the 100 block of West Hubbard, and family say that they have not heard from him since he left that location.

Bacaran's family spoke out following news of the death, thanking the public for their love and support in their search for the 23-year-old over the past week.

"Thank you to everyone for your remarkable outpouring of love, support and leads to help bring Iñaki home. We're sad to share that divers recovered Iñaki's body from the Chicago River near the 1100 block of S. Wells St. this evening, Friday, Nov. 5. Iñaki's family said they are beyond grateful for your support and prayers, and they appreciate the space to process this news," the Bascaran family said in a statement.

Bascaran’s father José spoke to reporters outside of Celeste, the bar in the 100 block of West Hubbard where his son had gone with three friends on the evening of Oct. 30.

"He's a really good kid. This is not something that he would do," José Bascaran said. "There's a reason he's not getting in contact with us."

Inaki Bascaran’s father Jose speaks out ahead of a search of Chicago’s River North neighborhood after his son was reported missing over the weekend.

He says that his son was last seen by his friends at approximately 11:30 p.m. After sending multiple text messages that he had tried unsuccessfully to get back into the bar, he called his roommate just after midnight to tell him that he was next to a Walgreen's, and that he was coming home.

After that, his family believes that his phone died, because all calls and text messages sent to him since that time were left unanswered and unread.

NBC 5 Chicago/Chicago Sun-Times
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