U of M Student Remains Missing After Jumping into Chicago River

Updated: 01/14/2014 8:06 PM
Created: 01/13/2014 8:17 AM
By: Leslie Dyste

Chicago Police have suspended their search for the night for a missing Minnesota woman who is presumed dead after jumping into the Chicago River on Monday. She jumped into the river, to try to rescue a friend.

Earlier Tuesday they used a police boat and long poles to scour the river for 21-year-old Lauren Li. The search was stopped due to deteriorating conditions.

According to authorities, Li and her boyfriend tried to save his cousin, 26-year-old Ken Hoang of St. Paul. Li fell into the icy water.

Hoang went in to try to grab his cell phone, which fell into the water. He was pulled from the river and died at Northwestern Memorial. He was a former University of Minnesota student, while Li is a current U of M student, according to the university.

The University of Minnesota released the following statement: “The University of Minnesota extends our sympathy to the family of Ken Hoang, a former U student who died yesterday. We are also keeping the family of Lauren Li, a current U of M student who is currently missing, in our thoughts." Li is a senior in the College of Biological Sciences and a member of the University's Honor Program. Hoang attended the university until 2010.

The other man who jumped into the water is at a Chicago Hospital. He is also from Minnesota. 

KSTP has learned the three friends were taking a trip to New Jersey and stopped in Chicago on the way.

Mutual friend Phu Cao, a Junior at University of Minnesota, said, "Lauren was just the brightest person. She was smart, she was sharp, she was quick."

Cao described Hoang as, "wiser than anyone of our time, and he took the time to learn about people."

Any U of M students who need someone to talk to about this incident are encouraged to visit for counseling services.

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