Midlothian vet missing for months
By Nick Swedberg Correspondent February 26, 2014 6:52PM
Edwin Stahl | Supplied photo
Updated: February 27, 2014 2:10AM
Edwin Stahl stepped onto the busy Oak Lawn streets near Christ Medical Center on Nov. 15 and vanished.
Just a few hours after being dropped off for a doctor’s appointment that morning, Stahl left the hospital to catch a Pace bus, or possibly a Metra train, to return home to Midlothian.
Three months of searching has turned up no trace of the 89-year-old World War II veteran. His family isn’t sure if they’ll ever see him again.
The last time Stahl’s nephew, Hubert Downs, of Midlothian, saw his uncle, Downs was dropping him off at the hospital so a problem with his ear could be checked out, Downs said.
Stahl still gets around well on his own, Downs said, so it wasn’t a complete surprise when he didn’t come home for several days. But as the days rolled on, he began to grow concerned before reporting his uncle missing Nov. 25. Downs said he has felt more and more helpless as time has passed.
No one exactly is sure what would cause Stahl to wander off from his plan. His family said he has not been diagnosed with any mental or memory issues.
In their investigation into Stahl’s disappearance, Midlothian police learned Stahl had showed some signs of paranoia and schizophrenia during a previous hospital visit. Downs said Stahl would have “senior moments” but still was mentally alert and able to drive himself around.
Stahl developed skin cancer on an ear, which recently was treated, Downs said. The ear started bothering him again, and he wanted to see the doctor again. Downs said he dropped off his uncle about 10 a.m. at Christ. He said they share a car and that he needed the car.
“He’s done that before,” he said. “Going to the hospital and taking a bus or train home.”
Security footage shows Stahl walking south from the hospital on Kilbourn Avenue toward 95th Street about 1 p.m., according to police. He had been discharged a short time earlier.
Downs called the hospital Nov. 17 and learned that Stahl had been discharged. He said he thought his uncle might have rented a motel room for his birthday, which is Nov. 18.
Stahl is 5-foot-7 with gray hair and blue eyes. He last was seen wearing a blue baseball cap, tan cloth jacket and a light green shirt. He wears glasses and had his wallet with him. Anyone with information is asked to call Midlothian police at (708) 385-2534.