Body found near car of missing man in Vernon Hills

A body has been found near the car of a Lake Villa father who disappeared last month on his drive home from work, and police say they believe it is him.

"We have reason to believe that these are the remains of Nicholas Steward, based on a number of personal items that were discovered on or near the body," the Lake County state's attorney's office said in a statement. "We are awaiting official identification from the Lake County coroner's office as well as a preliminary cause of death.

Steward, 33, disappeared on Sept. 20, just after he talked to his boss, texted his wife and called his parents, telling them he was headed home, according to family and friends.

For two weeks, authorities had little luck narrowing down where Steward disappeared and struggled to locate his 2008 white Saturn Aura.

But a Vernon Hills police officer responding to a call Thursday evening found Steward’s car in a parking lot outside an apartment complex, said Cynthia Trujillo Vargas, a spokeswoman for the Lake County state’s attorney’s office.

Trujillo Vargas said the officer recognized the vehicle, which appeared to be in good condition. Nobody was inside the car, which she said had been left in the 900 block of Westmoreland Drive in the northern suburb. Asked if there were any signs of foul play, Trujillo Vargas said only that the case was “still under investigation.”

The Lake County coroner’s office said an autopsy is being conducted and no more information will be released until that has been completed, estimated to be sometime around midday.

Authorities said the body was found around 10:30 p.m. in a densely wooded area about three-fourths of a mile from the car.

Last Sunday, volunteers canvassed an area stretching from Wood Dale to Lake Villa searching for the engineer.

mitsmith@tribune.com

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Grateful Dead drummer dishes dirt, drug dependency in new book

    Grateful Dead drummer dishes dirt, drug dependency in new book

    As a founding member of the Grateful Dead, Bill Kreutzmann watched the world change from behind his drum kit, shoveling coal in the wildly tribal rhythm section as the Dead went from San Francisco underground curio to ground-breaking indie outfit, then progenitor of the improvisation-based rock...

  • Book comes out ahead of Grateful Dead farewell concerts in Chicago this weekend

    Book comes out ahead of Grateful Dead farewell concerts in Chicago this weekend

    The cliché that colors every good rock star story is “sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll." For the Grateful Dead, the trailblazing rock band known for its improvisational style, revelatory live shows and dedicated fanbase, there was that and so much more.

  • 10 best movies of 2015 so far

    10 best movies of 2015 so far

    The year’s half over! How did that happen? No idea. With six months of a good year of movies in the books, let’s see how the Top 10 list is looking, with a quote from each respective review. Note: There are a few I’ve seen that I really like that haven’t yet opened in Chicago, and those aren’t...

  • If you make less than $50,440, proposal could increase overtime pay

    If you make less than $50,440, proposal could increase overtime pay

    Nearly 5 million more Americans would qualify for overtime pay under new rules proposed Tuesday by the Obama administration, a long-anticipated move expected to affect a broad swath of salaried employees from store managers to social workers to restaurant shift supervisors.

  • Chicago's minimum wage increase attracting workers to city

    Chicago's minimum wage increase attracting workers to city

    Unlike previous summers, UniStaff is experiencing a spike in job applicants at its Little Village location, a trend the branch manager says is tied to the city's minimum wage increase to $10 per hour beginning Wednesday.

  • 'The Bachelorette' episode 7 recap: How many meltdowns can Shawn have in one week?

    'The Bachelorette' episode 7 recap: How many meltdowns can Shawn have in one week?

    Welcome to RedEye’s coverage of “The Bachelorette,” arguably the most misogynistic show on television! The format is pretty simple: Five women of RedEye each drafted five of the 25 competing men. Everyone gets one point for every man who gets through each week. If you ever want your daughter to...

Comments
Loading