Posted at: 06/19/2013 5:24 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The search for a missing Albuquerque Academy graduate is over, and it’s not the way anyone wanted it to end.
Authorities in Chicago pulled the body of Austin Hudson-LaPore from Lake Michigan early Wednesday morning.
LaPore lived in the Northeast Heights with his family before going off to college in Chicago.
Gregg and Laurie Hudson LaPore have ties to Chicago but have lived in Albuquerque for many years.
They helped in the search for their missing son.
Yellow ribbons still hang on trees in front of his house. Family, neighbors and friends prayed for Austin’s safe return. The 20-year-old had been missing for a week.
"I've known Austin since at least kindergarten,” said neighbor Jana Muneta. “He's always been so fascinated with the weather. He would come down to the bus stop and he could tell me what the weather forecast was and practically every national city in America."
It’s that fascination LaPore’s father believes lured him to the lake as storms rolled in.
A man fishing along the shores of Lake Michigan made a gruesome discover early Wednesday morning.
“I cast out a couple of times and I thought it was a log,” said Eddie Hudson of Chicago.
Hours later, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the body pulled from the water is in fact that of Austin Hudson LaPore. It’s not clear if LaPore drowned.
“I just pray for the family, that they can be strong,” said Muneta.
LaPore attended Albuquerque Academy where he excelled, especially in science.
Agustin Kintanar at Albuquerque Academy says he knew LaPore since sixth grade.
"He is one of our top students especially in the sciences and you could see it in these science bowl competitions which is a giant jeopardy style competition where you buzz in and sometimes he would just put the team on his back and he would answer these questions one after another because he knew so much about science," said Kintanar. "He was really one brilliant student and it's a shame he's gone."
Albuquerque Academy released the following statement on its website:
"The Albuquerque Academy community expresses deepest condolences to the family of Austin Hudson-LaPore. Authorities in Chicago have now confirmed that Austin drowned during a violent storm last Wednesday evening, June 12.
'The world has lost a great mind and a great spirit with Austin’s passing,' said Albuquerque Academy Head of School Andrew Watson. 'The entire Academy community sends its thoughts and prayers to the Hudson-Lapore family at this tragic moment.'"
His parents are planning to speak publically on Thursday.
Austin’s father thanks everyone for their support.