Search under way for Nicholas Steward, missing Lake Villa man
September 29, 2013 (WLS) -- Armed with maps, hundreds of volunteers joined a massive search for a missing suburban father over the weekend.
Nicholas Steward was last seen on September 20 and Sunday the volunteers met in Lake Forest and spread out to multiple locations between Lake Villa, where Steward lives and Wood Dale, where he works.
His last known location was on the Tri-State Tollway when his I-PASS registered at the Touhy Toll Plaza.
The I-PASS registered at 5:32 p.m., about the same time Steward called his wife to tell her he was on his way home. Megan Steward reported her husband missing on September 21.
On Sunday, Megan, family and friends put together a well-organized search where over 10,000 fliers were distributed.
Motivating the volunteers, Megan Steward kicked off the massive search Sunday for her husband Nick; the Lake Villa 33-year-old has been missing since September 20.
Nicholas Steward was on his way home from his job in Wood Dale when he called his wife to tell her he was on his way, but he never arrived.
"We just really want to get the message out there and make sure people are still looking for Nick and it's our main priority to bring him home to us," Megan Steward said.
So with the help of a Find Nick Seward Facebook page, well over 150 volunteers met in a suburban parking to help with the search, including close friends and strangers.
"I don't know Nick personally, but I have a son the same age, who is married and has a little boy the same age and it just touched my heart," Julie Goodman said.
Steward's parents were overwhelmed with the turnout.
"We are just very grateful that as many people have showed up to help us to see the task of finding his car and find him," said Don Steward.
And the help was needed. The 225-square mile search area was divided in a series of grids between Steward's workplace in Wood Dale all the way to his Lake Villa home. With maps in hand, everyone hit the road hoping to find a clue.
At the time he went missing, Steward was driving his white 2008 Saturn. His I-PASS showed that he drove through the Touhy Avenue Toll in the northbound I-294 lanes at 5:32 p.m.
"I've known Nick since the he was in the 3rd grade, he would never put his family through this, so my heart is terrified that something bad has happened to him," said friend Jenny Prescia.
So far, police say there is no evidence of foul play. Nick Steward's cell phone was traced to the Des Plaines area around 10:30 p.m. September 20. There has been no activity since. There also has not been any activity with credit or ATM cards.
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