Iñaki Bascaran: Missing Lake View man found in Chicago River has died of drowning, medical examiner can’t say if death was an accident

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Iñaki Bascaran, the Lake View man found in the Chicago River a week after leaving a River North bar last fall, has died from drowning, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

But investigators could not determine if his death was an accident. The manner of death was listed as “undetermined” by the office on January 22.

Bascaran, 23, disappeared over Halloween weekend after leaving Celeste, a bar in the 100 block of West Hubbard Street. Bascaran had told his roommate on FaceTime that he was going home but he never did, according to his family.

Hundreds of volunteers searched for him for days. A candlelight vigil was held outside his Lake View apartment. A week later, Bascaran’s body was found in the river near the 1000 block of South Wells Street.

“We love our son very much,” his father Jose Bascaran said in a written statement Thursday. “I say it in the present tense because we still actively love Iñaki even though he’s gone.”

Iñaki Bascaran (left) with his father José Bascaran.

Bascaran said the family was grateful for the closure, even though autopsy results could not conclude the manner of death. They are “trying to find peace by focusing on maintaining his memory,” his father said.

The de Bascaran family, which has roots in Spain and Mexico, is working to create a scholarship program in memory of Iñaki to allow students to study abroad.

“Iñaki loved studying in Vienna, exploring different cultures around the world and connecting with people wherever he went,” his father said. “My son’s adventurous spirit will live on as he helps others have those life-changing experiences he treasured.”

His family thanked everyone who helped search for Bascaran.

“There are no words to capture what the massive outpouring of love and support has meant to us during such a dark time, and this love and support will continue to help others in this scholarship program studies,” said the father.

He said he hoped his son’s “exuberant energy” would endure and remind people to “stick together when on the move”.

“It could have happened to anyone,” Bascaran said. “Iñaki would like his story to stay in people’s hearts and help them avoid irreversible tragedies. Please take care of each other in his memory.

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