The death of 25-year-old Peter Salvino, a Northwestern doctoral student whose body was found in Lake Michigan this week, marks the second young man to be found dead in the water in Chicago this month.
In Salvino's case, police confirmed shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday that a body was recovered in Diversey Harbor, near where his phone had pinged for the final time after his disappearance.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's office confirmed Salvino's identity Tuesday night. An autopsy is pending, and no cause of death has been released.
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Salvino was last seen late Saturday night after leaving a party in Lincoln Park in the 2400 block of North Geneva Terrace, last making contact with a friend through FaceTime while walking back to his apartment at around 12:15 a.m.
In a statement, a family spokesperson explained Salvino talked to a friend via FaceTime 11:59 p.m. and said that he was walking to his apartment in the 800 block of West Lill Avenue and was about a half-mile away. That friend called again at 12:15 a.m. to confirm that Salvino had arrived home, but the 25-year-old said he was still walking to his residence.
At 12:31 a.m., Salvino's phone pinged a location near Diversey Harbor, the family spokesperson said. Then, at 12:37 a.m., the friend called again to confirm Salvino had gotten home, but the call went unanswered. Several friends sent text messages to his phone between then and 9:30 a.m., the spokesperson said, adding the messages were successfully delivered to his phone but unanswered.
At approximately 9:45 a.m., all calls went straight to voicemail and all text messages went undelivered.
The man's family and friends had been asking for the public's help in recent days to check nearby surveillance footage in hopes of retracing his steps.
"The goal is to get camera footage," said Scotty Gruska, Salvino's brother-in-law. "We've not heard from him since midnight Saturday. We all miss him. I know there's people working on it, and law enforcement is doing everything they can. But we want to keep doing more."
Surveillance video from Lincoln Park restaurant The Weiner Circle also provided footage of Salvino inside the eatery Saturday night, before he went missing.
Anyone with information or surveillance footage is asked to contact the Area Three Special Victims Unit at 312-744-8266.
Salvino's family issued a statement a short time after his body was found, thanking police and the public while asking for privacy.
“We are both shattered and relieved to report that, earlier [Tuesday], we found Peter during the marine search of Diversey Harbor. Throughout the last three days, we have been overwhelmed by the support and assistance we’ve received from friends, family and local residents and businesses in our search for Peter,” the statement read. “We are grateful beyond measure for their diligence, without which Peter may never have been found.
“At this time, our family appreciates the public affording us privacy as we process our grief over this devastating loss,” the statement concluded.
Salvino's death marks the second such case in which a young man's body was found in Lake Michigan this month.
Roughly two weeks ago, the body of a 21-year-old man was found in Lake Michigan at Oak Street. Krzysztof Szubert was a Polish businessman who had been working in Chicago since November and had recently gone missing, his family and officials confirmed to NBC 5.
Days before his body was found, officials said Szubert was last seen during a holiday party at the River North bar Howl at the Moon.
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.”
While officials have still not released a cause or manner of death for Szubert, detectives have referred to the incident as a death investigation rather than a drowning.
Police have so far not said if there is any connection between the cases, but acknowledged that detectives are investigating both cases, which are "pending autopsy results."