***Scroll down for updates***
Nick Steward’s 2008 white Saturn Aura was found last night in an apartment complex parking lot in Vernon Hills, IL. You can read my other posts about Nick’s disappearance HERE. Nick has been missing since September 20.
A police officer was responding to an unrelated call, when he noticed Nick’s car in the far corner of the parking lot. According to police, the car was parked underneath a tree and there was a bigger vehicle in front of it, blocking it from easy view. The car has since been towed and is now in a secure location while police analyze it for evidence. The apartment complex is about a mile away from his parents’ home in Vernon Hills.
Finding Nick’s car is a huge break in the case, but there are still so many unanswered questions. Did he ditch his car there and leave town? Is he hiding out in that area?
And then there are scarier possibilities. Was he carjacked? Did he park his car there and then go somewhere to end his life?
Just south of the apartment complex, there is a huge field that police searched well into the night.
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FOX News is reporting that police think that Nick is “nearby.” I’ll continue to update below.
UPDATE: 10/4/13 9:44 AM
Numerous news stations are now reporting that Nick’s body was found last night.
A body was found around 10:30 PM in a densely wooded area about 3/4 of a mile southeast of the area where Nick’s car was found. The official identity of the body and the cause of death are still pending, but it is likely Nick.
From the State’s Attorney’s news release:
“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.”
My heart goes out to Nick’s wife, his young son, parents, and all of his loved ones.
UPDATE: 10/4/13 1:36 PM
Sources are saying an autopsy has been completed and that it’s likely Nick has committed suicide.
UPDATE: 10/5/13 9:27 AM
According to the Chicago Tribune, the autopsy revealed that Nick died of apparent self-inflicted knife wounds. Cuts were apparently found on his throat, wrists and arms.