Search continues for NIU student

TMS Campus

Chicago police continue to search for a Northern Illinois University student who has been missing since early New Year’s Day.Police said they don’t have any solid leads in their search to find Brian Welzien, 21, who was last seen outside the Ambassador East Hotel between 2 and 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

Police said Welzien was intoxicated and getting ill when he was dropped off in front of the hotel.

But it was an unusual celebratory binge for the finance major who was “not a regular drinker and a good student,” Lt. Edmund Beazley said.

Welzien’s father died about a year ago, but family members said he seemed to be coping with the loss, was upbeat about his studies and had no history of depression.

Stephany Welzien last saw her son on Wednesday, when she thought he was on his way back to the university in DeKalb to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

She surmised he was going to Chicago with a group of friends and staying at a hotel must have been a last-minute decision.

One member of the group had rented a room in the Ambassador and after a night of drinking, Welzien and two of his friends headed back to the hotel, Beazley said.

The friend who was driving said he dropped Welzien off in the “general direction of the (hotel) door” and went to park the car, Beazley added.

Welzien was intoxicated, “having trouble navigating, getting sick, etc.,” Beazley said.

It wasn’t until Welzien’s two friends returned to the hotel after 4 a.m. that they noticed he wasn’t in the room and called police.