Missing elderly man last seen in Yorkville
By Denise Crosby firstname.lastname@example.org August 28, 2013 3:54PM
Updated: September 30, 2013 7:50AM
For almost a week police and family — as well as concerned strangers in the Fox Valley — have been looking for a missing 84-year-old Arlington Heights man who was last seen Friday in Yorkville asking for directions to Ogden Avenue and Route 59 in Naperville.
“There’s not a lot of leads out there” admitted Sgt. Nathan Hays with the Arlington Heights police, who have been searching for Eugene Jonnson since the evening of Aug. 22 when he was last seen by family.
“It’s very frustrating,” Hays added.
What makes it even more perplexing is there’s a vanity plane, JONS507, on the car Jonnson was driving, which should make the gray 2004 Buick LeSabre four-door easier to spot.
According to police, Jonnson is a white male, about 5-foot 10 inches tall, and weighing around 190 pounds. He is balding with gray hair, has blue eyes and normally wears glasses.
Authorities do not believe foul play is involved but are concerned Jonnson may need help because he’s become confused when driving in the past. There has been no activity on his credit card since he was last seen, said Hays. There’s even more concern because the weather has been so dangerously hot.
“It is scary,” said Hays. “And it hits close to home because it could be your father or grandfather.”
As information about Jonnson has gotten out through Facebook and other Internet sites, local residents have been looking for the car because he appeared to be trying to get to the Naperville area. Laurie Bartlett, who lives on Aurora’s far East Side, said family and neighbors have been combing parking lots hoping to spot Jonnson or the vehicle. New Hope Church in Plano is passing out flyers Wednesday evening at a church meeting. And truckers are sharing information to over-the-road peers.
“We want to do everything we can,” said Bartlett.
If anyone has seen the car or someone fitting Jonnson’s description, call the Criminal Investigation Bureau of Arlington Heights at 847-368-5348, or 847-368-5300 after hours or on weekends.
When President Obama and other national leaders gathered Wednesday afternoon in front of the Lincoln Memorial to recognize Martin Luther King’s game-changing “I Have a Dream” speech of 50 years ago, Quad County Urban League Director Theodia Gillespie was watching from her Aurora office with more than passing interest.
Days earlier she’d been in a smaller but still poignant march to the Lincoln Memorial as part of the National Urban League’s “Redeem the Dream” Summit held in our nation’s capital.
Last weekend’s activities not only shined the spotlight on history, it also focused on the many major issues still facing the black population, including disparities in employment, health, education and criminal justice.
And there was considerable disappointment, she said, over the recent Supreme Court decision that invalidated parts of the Voting Rights Act.
Still, there was little but optimism in Gillespie’s voice when I spoke with her Wednesday morning after that weekend trip.
“It was very exciting,” she said of the two-day event that featured civil rights legends as well as current black leaders.
September will mark 30 years since Gillespie got involved with the Urban League’s fight for social justice. While “we have made progress,” she said of the quest to empower young people through education and training, “we need to continue the fight.”
While few local activities commemorated this historic event, a town hall meeting titled “Where Do We Go From Here” will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora.
The event is sponsored by the DuPage County NAACP, which also serves Kane, Kendall and Will counties.
The meeting will feature a panel discussion led by those representing law enforcement, education, youth and the community at large. Although Gillespie is not involved with this event, she knows the spirit of the national movement hinges on what is taking place at the local level.
“We lift people up,” she said, “by getting a community involved.”