Body found in harbor was of missing Elk Grove Village student
By Madhu Krishnamurthy and Peter McGrain | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 5/25/2010 5:40 PM | Updated: 5/25/2010 7:03 PM
The body found Sunday in a car pulled from Chicago's Belmont Harbor is that of missing Elk Grove Village resident Syed "Zain" Naqi, a Cook County Medical Examiner's Office spokesman confirmed late Tuesday.
Authorities initially could not identify the body found inside Naqi's green Honda Civic because it was partially decomposed. It may have been submerged in the harbor, in the Lincoln Park neighborhood east of Lake Shore Drive, anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, officials said.
They finally matched dental records to positively identify Naqi, 22, who apparently drowned, officials said.
Family members declined to comment Tuesday.
Naqi, a student at Roosevelt University in Chicago, was last seen Saturday, May 1 when he went out with friends to the Rebel Bar and Grille on North Clark Street in Chicago.
He did not return home to Elk Grove Village that night, but he and his father, Syed Naqi, texted back and forth a few times. In those texts, the son assured his father he would be home that night.
Most disturbing was Zain's final text to his father late Saturday night, after the father asked again if he was coming home.
"Goodbye, Dad," was the reply, and then Zain's phone was turned off.
Distressed family members reported him missing on Monday, May 3. Elk Grove police investigators took over the search, but as the days and weeks went by, they were increasingly concerned that Zain had not turned up, his car was missing, and neither his credit card, gas card or bank account had been touched.
Friends and family held a vigil for him at Roosevelt University on May 13. The Council on American-Islamic Relations canvassed the North side of Chicago last Saturday, putting up fliers.
Naqi's father, Syed Naqi, said in previous interviews that his son was social, but did not go out more than once or twice a month. His son was thoughtful on those occasions, he said, waking his father up when he came in to let him known he was home safe.
Naqi attended Drake University in Des Moines his freshman year, but had to leave after he was accused of an incident of plagiarism. His father said after that Zain he began taking a small dose of Wellbutrin, a prescription antidepressant.
Syed Naqi said his son wanted to go back to Drake, and was unhappy that he could no longer attend. But he was reportedly doing well at Roosevelt.
He said his son's friends told him Naqi was sober when he left the bar in Chicago that night, presumably to go home.