Peter Salvino: Cause of death revealed for Northwestern student found in Diversey Harbor

Peter Salvino, the Northwestern University doctoral student who went missing after a party last December, died from accidental drowning, officials announced Wednesday.

The Cook County medical examiner's office ruled his death an accidental drowning and said ethanol intoxication also contributed.

Salvino, 25, left a party on Dec. 18 in the 2400 block of North Geneva Terrace in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.


Salvino FaceTimed a friend at 11:59 p.m. to tell them he was walking to his apartment in the 800 block of West Lill Avenue, which is about a half-mile away.

At 12:15 a.m., the friend called Salvino to confirm that he had arrived home, loved ones said. However, Salvino told the friend he was still walking home.

At 12:31 a.m., Salvino's cellphone pinged a location near Diversey Harbor.

At 12:37 a.m., the friend again called Salvino to confirm he’d arrived home, but the call was not answered.

Between then and 9:30 a.m., several friends sent text messages to Salvino, all of which were successfully delivered to his cellphone but went unanswered.

Around 9:45 a.m., all text messages sent to Salvino went undelivered, and all phone calls made to him went straight to voicemail, according to loved ones.

Three days later Salvino's body was found in Diversey Harbor near Dock O.

The Salvino family released the following statement after his body was found.

"We are both shattered and relieved to report that, earlier today, we found Peter during the marine search of Diversey Harbor. Throughout the last three days, we have been overwhelmed by the support and assistance we've received from friends, family, and local residents and businesses in our search for Peter. We are grateful beyond measure for their diligence, without which Peter may not have been found. At this time, our family appreciates the public affording us privacy as we process our grief over this devastating loss."