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Published On: Thu, Jan 16th, 2014

Minnesota college student, Lauren Li, found dead in Chicago River after accident

Police divers found the body of a missing college student Wednesday afternoon, a couple of days after the Minnesota woman vanished beneath the surface of the frigid Chicago River.

Lauren Li minnesota student found deadChicago police report that Lauren Li, age 21, slipped into the icy river while attempting to help her friend, Ken Hoang, age 26, who had fallen into the water while trying to retrieve a dropped cell phone shortly after midnight on Monday.

Hoang also died.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office said the woman was identified Wednesday afternoon.

Li, an honors student at the University of Minnesota who aspired to become a doctor, was visiting Chicago with her friends while on a semester break from school.

The lone survivor, Quoc-Viet Phan Hoang, age 23 was released from a hospital after also falling into the river near River Esplanade Park, not far from Lake Shore Drive.

According to a police report obtained by the Tribune, Ken Hoang was taking photos from the riverwalk when he dropped his cell phone onto the ice below. He climbed over a fence onto the ice but fell into the water. Li then dropped down onto the ice to rescue him but also slipped into the river.

She yelled out for help and Phan Hoang then stepped onto the ice and fell into the water, police said.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled Tuesday that Hoang drowned and that alcohol contributed to his death.

Li’s autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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