• Elise Malary was reported missing on March 11
  • The cause of death has not been determined but cops do not suspect foul play
  • Malary worked as a board member with Chicago-based nonprofit, Therapy Collective

A transgender activist in Chicago, who was reported missing last week, was found dead in Lake Michigan eight days after her disappearance.

Elise Malary, an LGBTQ advocate from Evanston, Illinois, was reported missing on March 11 after the family lost contact with her two days before. The investigators received a report of a "woman in the water by the rocks" and recovered the body from Lake Michigan at Garden Park in Illinois on March 17.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office positively identified the victim as 31-year-old Malary, Evanston Police said in a news release Sunday.

A few days after Malary was reported missing, investigators found her vehicle two blocks from her residence. The maintenance workers who checked Malary's apartment found the front and back doors unlocked with no signs of anything missing from the house, Malary's sister Fabiana said, as reported by CBS News.

Meanwhile, investigators are yet to determine the cause of death but cops do not suspect foul play as investigation continues, officials said.

Malary served as a board member with the nonprofit Chicago Therapy Collective and worked for the LGBTQ population, people of color, and transgender people of color.

"Elise Malary was a very special person in this neighborhood. And all of us have a story about her," Malary's friend Alexis Martinez, recollected, adding that she made a "profound influence" as a board member of the nonprofit, Chicago Tribune reported.

Chicago Therapy Collective describes Malary as "a fierce advocate," who worked tirelessly as a board member of the agency. "The outpouring of love, care, and community response reflects the deep impact of Elise’s love and advocacy on so many of us," the nonprofit agency said in a Facebook post.

Malary also worked with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and recently quit her job. "The Attorney General’s office has lost a member of our family, and as an office, we are heartbroken. May Elise’s memories inspire all of us to live authentically and have humanity toward all," Raoul said in a statement as per Chicago Tribune.

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