Found Deceased IL - Daniel Sotelo, 26, & Natally Brookson, both found deceased, Chicago, 30 April 2022

Janitor101

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I was wondering whether at some point she started refusing to respond to his calls and texts. She may have made suicidal comments and then stopped communicating altogether. He began a search for her and may have finally found her body on the beach at which point he makes an impulsive decision and goes into the water himself. I know nothing about ocean currents so maybe his body floated out to sea? Can people find each others "I-phones" using that "Find my Phone app"?
 

Janitor101

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I keep wondering how the police know he was in the Edgewater area at 10p, yet with Natally nothing is known except for her last being seen at 6p at work. Did something happen between them at the beach and he was later spotted via CCTV wandering around the Edgewater area minus his cell phone and wallet?
 

GraceG

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In that case, he would’ve watched NB take her own life and waited until her body came to the shore, then placed his phone and wallet next to her body before taking his own life, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. Or he found her body and then took his own life, but that also doesn’t make a lot of sense because he went missing before her. If his wallet and phone were found in her possession rather than “next to” her body, and the report of his things being “next to” her is not accurate, I could totally see them having taken their lives together, but his things being found next to her body makes me lean towards murder-suicide (or murder and disappearance). MOO.
If you re-read the article that mentions the wallet and the phone it is his family member that states where his wallet and phone were found, not Law Enforcement. The same article states that her body was removed from the water on May 2 which is what other LE reports linked here have said. In my opinion, I think there may have been a misunderstanding in what the family member(s) said to the media about the phone and wallet location. Link to article here (and I got the right link this time) UIC grad student Daniel Sotelo remains missing after girlfriend was found dead; his father holds onto faith His family said the same thing in another article and also said she and Daniel had only been dating a few months and they had never met her. UIC graduate student Daniel Sotelo is still missing after his girlfriend was found dead; his father keeps the faith
 

SpringDonut77

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I know nothing about ocean currents so maybe his body floated out to sea?
Lake Michigan is big like an ocean/sea and there are dangerous currents and certainly cases of people drowning in it, but not sure how often the bodies are not found. It is not uncommon to hear about a body being found on shore.
 

Janitor101

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I found the father to be pretty credible during his interview and to me he didn't seem the type to embellish a story. Surely the detectives have questioned him by now and probably let him in on a few of the known facts of this case. I wonder if the detectives are keeping the cell phone or gave all of his belongings back to the family.
 

SimplyCass

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This was either a murder-suicide or suicide pact. Or there's a 3rd person involved... unlikely but still.

If verified, I hope that LE or the family can specify where exactly Daniel's phone/wallet were found in relation to Natally. I'm just confused. If it was a homicide, why would Daniel leave two extremely traceable, personal items there? But then why would anyone else put those items if they were trying to 'frame' or 'stage' the scene?

Natally taking a leave from UIC does make me wonder if something was going on. But it could be as simple as caring for a family member.
 

GMS

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I'm wondering if Natally was recovered wearing the same clothes / uniform she left work? We know she and DS both went missing on April 30th, but we don't know that whatever transpired happened shortly after she left Friedman Place...correct?

Lane Beach is almost due west (slightly north) roughly 2.5 miles from where Natally worked. Was it premeditated that DS planned to meet Natally here? I know reports "technically" indicate LE recovered her body from Lake Michigan, but could she have always been on the beach basically at the water's edge? This would align more that DS's phone / wallet were found next to her body if indeed that statement is true. Could there have been a domestic incident between DS and NB which caused her death and DS left his items to give the appearance that it was a double-suicide and his body is yet to be found?
 

zatanna

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Like many, also curious on proximity of his items to her body.

An alternate reason for his important items to be on the beach is if she was in the water alive and he took them out before getting in the water to either try to save her/coax her out. Or if either of them were not doing well mentally, one could have made the decision to get into the water for an adventure/play purpose and the other joined, would make sense to take phone/wallet out beforehand.
 

citizen_sleuth

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I'm wondering if Natally was recovered wearing the same clothes / uniform she left work? We know she and DS both went missing on April 30th, but we don't know that whatever transpired happened shortly after she left Friedman Place...correct?

Lane Beach is almost due west (slightly north) roughly 2.5 miles from where Natally worked. Was it premeditated that DS planned to meet Natally here? I know reports "technically" indicate LE recovered her body from Lake Michigan, but could she have always been on the beach basically at the water's edge? This would align more that DS's phone / wallet were found next to her body if indeed that statement is true. Could there have been a domestic incident between DS and NB which caused her death and DS left his items to give the appearance that it was a double-suicide and his body is yet to be found?
Lane Beach is just north of the location where her body was found, and it appears there are not any particularly strong currents in that area (NOAA shows the area as having a 1cm/second current in the northern direction). Granted, the strength of the currents can change drastically in Lake Michigan with strong winds/inclement weather, but is seems as though her body would have been carried further north instead of south had she entered the water at Lane Beach.

 

GraceG

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Lake Michigan is big like an ocean/sea and there are dangerous currents and certainly cases of people drowning in it, but not sure how often the bodies are not found. It is not uncommon to hear about a body being found on shore.
Bodies are not found more than you think due to the depth, the currents, and underwater debris. There was a plane crash into the lake 3 years ago - the pilot's body still has not been found though the airplane itself was located in the water quite a while later, as was the passenger's body. file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/Report_CEN19FA165_99426_5_22_2022%202_27_49%20PM.pdf NOTE: It looks like the link did not work - the NTSB accident report is at www.ntsb.gov and the date the plane went down was May 12, 2019.
 

citizen_sleuth

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This is not confirmed to be related, but there was a body found in Lake Michigan that reportedly had been in the water for weeks.

Man's body found in Lake Michigan about 1 mile from coast off Wilmette, police say - ABC7 Chicago
<snipped & BBM>
The body of a man was recovered from the lake in Wilmette just before 4:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

[...]

Police said it appeared the person had been in the water for at least a couple of weeks before a boater spotted the individual about 1 mile offshore.

[...]

Wilmette police said the man's description does not match any missing persons reports in the area.

He was described as having black hair and being about 6-feet tall.
 

SimplyCass

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Missing poster for Daniel lists him as 5'10" with black hair. That matches the two descriptors of the UID however it's entirely possible (probable) there are other reasons the PD has said that it does not match any MP's from the area.
 

GraceG

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The report here says the body didn't match a missing person from the Village (where it was found) That's a small area, so that does not mean that it wasn't a Chicago area missing person. Body Found By Boater In Lake Michigan Near Wilmette Hoping for closure and answers for all involved.
This is not confirmed to be related, but there was a body found in Lake Michigan that reportedly had been in the water for weeks.

Man's body found in Lake Michigan about 1 mile from coast off Wilmette, police say - ABC7 Chicago
<snipped & BBM>
The body of a man was recovered from the lake in Wilmette just before 4:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

[...]

Police said it appeared the person had been in the water for at least a couple of weeks before a boater spotted the individual about 1 mile offshore.

[...]

Wilmette police said the man's description does not match any missing persons reports in the area.

He was described as having black hair and being about 6-feet tall.e
 

GMS

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The report here says the body didn't match a missing person from the Village (where it was found) That's a small area, so that does not mean that it wasn't a Chicago area missing person. Body Found By Boater In Lake Michigan Near Wilmette Hoping for closure and answers for all involved.
For reference, Wilmette is approximately 6 to 7 miles north of where Natally's body and DS's phone / wallet were discovered. I'm not familiar with NOAA data to see if this is probable based on water currents, etc.
 

GraceG

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For reference, Wilmette is approximately 6 to 7 miles north of where Natally's body and DS's phone / wallet were discovered. I'm not familiar with NOAA data to see if this is probable based on water currents, etc.
Here is a NOAA link that shows the water movement on the lake from late March. There might be some change but that's a typical flow pattern this time of year. As you can see (it's interactive) it was a pretty strong flow pattern from south to north. Great Lakes Currents Map
 

Janitor101

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I find it strange that this case has not garnered more media attention. Are the detectives even working on this case anymore? I suppose they are waiting for the results of NB's toxicology report which might reveal she overdosed, but what about Daniel? Should we assume that LE has completely ruled out the possibility of a homicide? They must have since they don't seem to be actively searching for him.

So many unanswered questions.
 

evilwise

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The longer this are goes without his body also being found in the water, the greater the likelihood that she might have murdered him somewhere else then jumped. If it's true that they'd only been saying a couple of months that also increases the likelihood - but it's still statistically unlikely.

Like, if people had been together for years I could see their despair growing together and/or them not knowing how they could live without one another but I can't see that developing in a short period of time. I guess that two already suicidal people might start a relationship based on that.
 

scriabina

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Like, if people had been together for years I could see their despair growing together and/or them not knowing how they could live without one another but I can't see that developing in a short period of time. I guess that two already suicidal people might start a relationship based on that.

BBM. I hadn't thought of that, but that's an interesting perspective I hadn't entertained until now. Yes, perhaps it was a suicide pact.

If this were a suspected homicide, we would be hearing much more in the news. I think investigators and family have reason to believe it was suicide and at this point they are looking for a body.

Really perplexing.
 
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