Co-workers of a Lansing man found dead in a retention ditch nearly a week after he went missing are raising funds to assist his family with funeral costs as authorities await word on his cause of death.
Charlie Burgess, a client adviser and social media manager for BMW Schererville, set up the fund Friday through the online site Go Fund Me. As of noon Monday, the fund contained $1,750 in contributions.
Matthew Urdiales, 40, was found dead in a retention ditch Thursday night in front of Heritage Middle School in the 19200 block of Burnham Avenue.
Urdiales, a married father of three, was last seen on surveillance video at 11:39 p.m. Dec. 6 leaving Margarita's Bar & Grill, 19606 Burnham Ave. in Lynwood. His vehicle was found in the bar's parking lot four days later.
Urdiales' wife told police she last saw him driving north on Calumet Avenue at 45th Avenue in Munster when he turned west toward Lansing.
His wife told authorities he was in good health and it was unusual for him to leave without contacting loved ones.
Burgess said co-workers knew finding the funds for funeral arrangements would be hard on the Urdiales family.
"They had enough to get by, but not quite enough to get through a funeral," Burgess said.
Visitation and funeral arrangements were announced Monday afternoon. Visitation will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Elmwood Funeral Chapel, 11200 S. Ewing Ave. in Chicago. Prayers will be offered at the chapel at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday followed by a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Annunciata, 11128 Avenue G in Chicago.
Interment will take place at Holy Cross Cemetery, 801 Michigan City Road in Calumet City.
Burgess said BMW Schererville contributed to the fund along with several colleagues and their families.
"One of the interns who worked last summer heard about it, and the family contributed, too," Burgess said.
Urdiales had worked as a porter at the dealership since March. Burgess remembered him as reliable.
"He was one of those guys you could ask to do something and you didn't have to check on him because you knew he'd get it done," Burgess said.
A spokeswoman for the Cook County medical examiner's office said Monday that the cause and manner of death are awaiting toxicology test results, which can take days or weeks.
Lansing officials are remaining tight-lipped on their death investigation pending the release of the medical examiner's findings.