Updated: May 8, 2013 6:48AM
A Crestwood man who had been missing for more than a week was found dead after dive and rescue teams responded Friday to Lake Arrowhead in Worth Township after a car was discovered in the water, authorities said.
Jim Sylvester, 21, had gone missing March 28. He was distraught over a relationship breakup and had contacted friends and said, “Tell everyone I’m sorry,” according to police.
Police and hundreds of friends and family members had been conducting organized searches, and a “Help us find Jim Sylvester” Facebook page had nearly 3,000 followers. Another search had been scheduled for Saturday, but after Sylvester’s body was found, the Facebook page was updated with a post reading, “Our family thanks you for all the love, support and prayers. Search party is cancelled.”
Sylvester’s father, also named Jim Sylvester, had said his son was familiar with some local lakes and forest preserves and easily could find a place where it wouldn’t be easy to find him.
He said his son had gone through a breakup about three weeks ago but that if there were any problems or stress, he masked it well.
But since March 28, no further activity from the son’s phone had been detected, and there had been no contact with friends or family and no credit card activity, police said. Activity discovered on his computer led authorities to believe Sylvester may harm himself, police said.
Sylvester had attended Nathan Hale Middle School in Crestwood and Shepard High School in Palos Heights.
His body was recovered by a dive team made up of members of various suburban fire departments, Cook County Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said.
An initial report about something in the water was made about 12:40 p.m., and the Cook County Sheriff’s office was called about 3:30 p.m. to assist Cook County Forest Preserve Police and Crestwood police at the lake, which is just southeast of 131st Street and Harlem Avenue near Palos Heights, Ansari said.
Sylvester’s body was discovered along with the Honda Civic that Sylvester was last seen in, Ansari said. Crestwood police positively identified the body, Ansari said.
The investigation is ongoing, but no foul play is suspected, she said.
Contributing: Susan DeMar Lafferty, Mike Nolan