A woman whose body was found on an Evanston beach the evening of March 17 has been identified as missing activist Elise Malary, Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The body was found in Lake Michigan at the 500 block of Sheridan Square.
Malary, a prominent transgender-rights and anti-racism activist, had been missing since March 9. Her disappearance sparked widespread concern throughout her communities in both Evanston, where she lived, and Chicago, where she worked and was active in several organizations.
Malary uncharacteristically went out of contact with family on March 9, a day after reportedly quitting her job as a clerk with the Illinois attorney general's office.
The following day, maintenance personnel checked Malary's Evanston apartment, which was unlocked. Her car was gone but was found in a nearby municipal parking lot on March 14.
Malary' best friend, Angelina Nordstrom, said March 14 that Malary had requested some space and time to address some personal issues, but "there has been no instance where there has been no contact with her whatsoever …This whole thing is completely unlike her."
In a statement Windy City Times received, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said, "Today is a devastating day for the Office of the Attorney General. After hoping for several days that our friend and colleague Elise Malary would be safely reunited with her family, friends and loved ones, we have received confirmation of the unthinkable.
"Elise was a valued member of our Civil Rights Bureau who, as a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ community, was passionate about her work. Her kindness and infectious smile will be missed by those who worked with her. The Attorney General's office has lost a member of our family, and as an office, we are heartbroken.
Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton tweeted, "I met Elise Malary at a meeting doing what she did so well: advocating for equitable access to healthcare and safe work spaces for LGBTQ+ Illinoisans.
"Her life mattered. And our brief encounter made me a better leader. Peace and love to all who are mourning. Rest well, Elise."
Police have not released other information surrounding Malary's death.
Chicago Sun-Times' article is at chicago.suntimes.com/2022/3/19/22986622/missing-elise-malary-found-dead-evanston-lake-michigan-identified .