Family of Missing Grad Student Daniel Sotelo Holds Onto Hope After Girlfriend's Body Found in Lake Michigan

Daniel Soleto
Daniel Soleto, left, is still missing after girlfriend Natally Brookson was found dead in Lake Michigan, police said.Chicago Police Department

Daniel Sotelo was supposed to graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago, his family said.

The family of missing graduate student Daniel Soleto hopes against hope that the 26-year-old will come home, even as mystery surrounds his disappearance and the death of his girlfriend.

Soleto and Natally Brookson both vanished on April 30, authorities said. On May 2, the body of 22-year-old Brookson was pulled from Lake Michigan, police said. A cause of death has not been determined.

"I keep my hope on, and I thank God for beautiful kids," father Nicolas Sotelo told CBS News this week while looking at a photograph of his four children. "He was so happy," he said, referring to his missing son.

The couple attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was studying organic chemistry and she was majoring in psychology. 

Brookson was last seen at Friedman Place, a community for blind adults where she had worked. Her last day at work was the day she vanished.

Soleto was last seen the same day, when his roommate dropped him at "L" train station, police said.

The young man's father said he was devastated when he learned Brookson's body had been found.

"I didn't want to think about it, but I thought they would find maybe Danny's body also," he said.

The father also said he had just learned that his son's wallet and phone were found with his girlfriend's body.

Nicolas Sotelo said he never stops thinking about his boy.

"You go to bed thinking about it, and you wake up thinking about the same," he said.

Chicago police say they have no suspects of persons of interest in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call investigators at 312-744-8266.

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