Search a a missing man from Illinois ended after a kayaker spotted a familiar jacket on the banks of the Des Plaines River, the Antioch village police department said.
Tommy HoweThe 24-year-old was last seen Jan. 22, minutes after he was involved in a car crash on Interstate 94, McClatchy News reported. He left the scene and disappeared into the woods of a nearby reserve, beginning a desperate search involving several departments and numerous volunteers.
On February 15, Antioch village police said Howe was killed and divers pulled his body out of the Des Plaines River.
The kayaker saw a jacket that matched the description that Howe was wearing last time, a gray North Face, and called the 911 service, sending authorities to where his body was found.
“Based on the circumstances and evidence found at the scene, the body was previously identified as Howe,” police said.
Lake County officials will continue to investigate the circumstances of his death, a press release said.
The young man was driving to meet his parents for lunch when he crashed into another car, McClachie said.
The collision was so severe that all the airbags were triggered and Howe’s car was smashed, his mother said in a Facebook post, leading parents to believe his bizarre post-accident behavior could have been the result of a head injury.
“During these mass searches, please remember that it is harmless. He follows the rules, hardworking, loving a child who would do absolutely anything for anyone, ”she wrote. “I know we’ll bring him home, we just need to help him!”
While searching the reserve, rescuers came across Howe’s work cell phone. There were no other signs of him until the kayaker noticed his jacket.
“We were with the Howe family throughout their search for Tommy,” said Antioch police chief Jeffrey Gutchev. “It’s a devastating time for them. The family will continue to be in our prayers. ”