2:28 p.m. CDT, May 21, 2011
A car belonging to a missing model was pulled from the North Branch of the Chicago River near Goose Island today.
A body could be seen inside the vehicle, a blue Ford Focus, according to a Tribune photographer on the scene. The license plate of the vehicle pulled from the river matches that of a vehicle driven by a 25-year-old West Rogers Park woman reported missing last week.
A community alert issued on May 16 by Chicago police said that Irma Sabanovic was last seen four days prior on her way to a Goose Island night club. A male friend received a text from Sabanovic about 2 a.m., stating that she was lost near Milwaukee Avenue and Erie Street, according to the alert.
On Friday night, friends of Sabanovic, who modeled under the name Ira Blackbird, held a fundraiser for the missing woman at the Little Bucharest Bistro on the Northwest Side.
The car was discovered this morning in the river near Elston Avenue and Blackhawk Street, just two block from the night spot where Sabanovic was headed.
Officers from the Near North and Shakespeare police districts were dispatched to the area for traffic and crowd control, police said.
At about 1:45 p.m., mechanical towing equipment began pulling the car from the water and continued as of 2:15 p.m.