Inaki Bascaran’s body was discovered in the Chicago River, in the early evening Friday, at a point about 1 ½ miles from the bar where he was last seen alive before Halloween. When his body was found he was unresponsive and pronounced dead. His cause of death has not been revealed.
On Oct. 30, Inaki Bascaran, who was 23 years old, went to a bar in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. A friend of his, Kayli Fradin, was one of the group of friends there with him.
Fradin describes Bascaran, who worked in marketing, as “the life of the party,” someone who is “always trying to make people laugh.”
How did he end up in the Chicago River? At this time there is no evidence he was killed. According to the medical examiner, both the cause and the manner of death are “pending.”
In Illinois the manner of death can be either natural, accident, homicide, suicide, or undetermined.
Inebriation likely paid a part in Bascaran’s death. At some point in the evening, he left the Lincoln Park bar heading to Celeste, a River North bar.
Later, at 11:39 p.m., he called his roommate to say that he was on his way home. But his roommate says he was very intoxicated at that point.
Texts sent to him after 12:15 a.m. were not read. His father said that this means his phone likely was dead at that time.
Inaki Bascaran had graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2020. According to his father, Jose Bascaran, for the last year he has been living in Chicago and working for a media company.
Kayli Fradin’s boyfriend is also Bascaran’s roommate. She said, describing their telephone conversation before midnight, “He [Inaki Bascaran] didn’t even realize what part of town he was in.”
It was Fradin who called the police at noon on Oct. 31 to report Inaki Bascaran missing. She and her boyfriend had tried to determine his phone’s location, but his phone was dead. His bed appeared not to have been slept in.
The police issued a missing person’s bulletin the following day. It included a photo and his vital statistics, 5’9″, 165 lbs.
Efforts were made to determine what he was doing and if he used credit cards after he left Celeste. The last Uber that Bascaran called was for his ride to Celeste. There were no charges on his credit or debit cards.
Neither the police nor the hospitals she called had information, so Fradin created a website and used an Instagram page to spark a broad search for Inaki Baskaran.
By Monday evening, Nov. 1, she had mobilized about 200 people, who went out with flashlights and neon vests to search for Inaki Bascaran, starting at Celeste, which is in the 100 block of West Hubbard. Fradin was “routing people different directions that Inaki might have done.”
On Wednesday, his family held a vigil, watched live on Instagram by hundreds. Fradin describes the event as an “outpouring of support.” She said, “There’s been times where we’ve been sobbing together and times where we’ve been laughing together, telling our favorite stories and memories with him.”
On Friday the website that she had set up to collect tips on Inaki Bascaran’s whereabouts carried this sad message: “Inaki’s body has been recovered from the Chicago River. Thank you to everyone who helped with our search efforts. We will provide details for the funeral soon.”
Inaki Bascaran was a graduate of Glenbrook South High School, in Glenbrook, Illinois, a suburb of northern Chicago.