Family, friends remember missing U of I student after an unidentified body is found

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CHAMPAIGN—Family and friends of a missing University of Illinois student gathered at a vigil Sunday, one day after authorities found a dead man that has yet to be identified.  

Hugs were shared and tears were shed, as family and friends remember Vicente Mundo.

“No one has anything bad to say about Vicente Mundo,” said Drew Dahl, Mundo's fraternity brother at the U of I.

“Hearing how much people loved him, makes it a lot easier,” said his sister, Julieta LaMalfa.

Mundo was last seen leaving a friend's Champaign apartment on the evening of January 25th. He was formally reported missing two days later and his family from Chicago has been searching for any sign of the statistics student ever since, offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his return, because they say he would not have left on his own.

“He would've been one of those people passing out a flyer, you know,” said LaMalfa. “He would've done that. He would've done anything to help.”

On Saturday morning, Champaign County sheriff's deputies discovered a dead man near an intersection northeast of Tolono. They have not identified him yet, and an autopsy is tentatively scheduled for Monday, but Mundo's family just wants answers.

“There's a reason why they told us, and not the other family first I think,” said LaMalfa. “I don't know much more than what was released to the media. My sister said it best when she said that how in a way it's so cruel that we don't get to find out whether it's him or not.”

Mundo is the second young man to go missing in the Champaign-Urbana area in less than a month, causing concern throughout the U of I campus.

“I think I'm speaking for a lot of people when I say there's a sense of fear,” said Dahl.

For his sisters, it's a sense of pain--a feeling they don't want to prolong regardless of what happens.

“I could never think of hurting anyone,” said LaMalfa. “Because he never would've hurt anyone.”

Instead, his sister simply wants peace of mind knowing her beloved baby brother is no longer suffering.

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