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Author Topic: Lee Cutler 18, Buffalo Grove, IL Last Seen 10/20/07 Car, wallet found  (Read 21628 times)
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kissyface
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« on: October 25, 2007, 02:18:37 PM »

http://www.abcnews.go.com/US/Story?id=3765472&page=2

Teen's Car, Pack Found in Wisconsin Cornfield
Clues in Weekend Disappearance of Lee Cutler, 18, Discovered 175 Miles From Home
Sheriff's deputies in Sauk County, Wis., found Cutler's 2007 Toyota Corolla off the road near a cornfield. The car was locked and unoccupied, according to police in Buffalo Grove, Ill., Cutler's hometown some 170 miles away.  By DAVID SCHOETZ
Oct. 23, 2007
   
 Yesterday, it was his car. Today, it was a backpack and blankets.

Authorities hope that the two discoveries in less than two days will help lead to 18-year-old Lee Cutler, an Illinois high school senior last seen leaving a friend's house Saturday morning.

Cutler, who attended a party Friday night, never showed up at work Saturday, and neither friends nor family have heard from him since.

Sheriff's deputies in Sauk County, Wis., found Cutler's 2007 Toyota Corolla off the road near a cornfield. The car was locked and unoccupied, according to police in Buffalo Grove, Ill., Cutler's hometown some 170 miles away.

An initial foot search of the area turned up no signs of the teen, and deputies failed to locate tracks leading away from the car. The foot search, as well as an aerial search, broadened today, while deputies combed the banks of the Baraboo River.

"There were a couple of blankets found and a backpack that were clearly identified as Lee's," Dan de Grazia, a longtime friend of Cutler's family who has served as its spokesman during the search, told ABC News.

De Grazia described Cutler as a good student at Adlai E. Stevenson high school, with a reputation for making others laugh. He also said that Cutler, while facing some personal stresses -- such as a sick grandmother -- is not a teen with a history of erratic behavior, running away or abusing drugs and alcohol.

De Grazia also called the possibility the teen committed suicide "farfetched," explaining that dozens of Cutler's friends have been spoken to and no one has given any indication that the teen had suicidal intentions.

Cutler's parents, Beth and Barry Frazin, are at the scene of the search along the Baraboo River banks, a rugged landscape flanking fast-moving water. For now, authorities have waved off civilian help, but a search team has already come forward on a Facebook Web page -- called "Let's Find Lee!"-- created since Cutler's disappearance. Already, almost 900 people have joined the group.

"They're figuring out what they can do to help, they're staying out of the way and they're communicating with each other," said De Grazia, who praised the online efforts of Cutler's friends.

While the focus of the search is the Baraboo River, De Grazia said there's also a possibility that Cutler hitched a ride in an effort to see a friend who lives far away.

Whatever the case, Cutler's mother just wants her son to return home.

"Grandma says, 'PLEASE, PLEASE COME HOME,'" Beth Frazin wrote on the Web site dedicated to her son's search. "No questions asked, I just want to know that you are safe."

Edit to add information to subject title.  MB
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2007, 01:41:48 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,305637,00.html

Car Keys, Wallet Belonging to Missing Illinois Teen Found Near River
Saturday , October 27, 2007


 Wisconsin search teams found car keys and a wallet belonging to a missing Illinois teen in a pair of pants hanging from a branch in a river.

Lee Cutler, 18, of Buffalo Grove, Ill., was reported missing last weekend after attending a friend's birthday party. Police started a search of the area near Baraboo River after his 2007 Toyota Corolla parked near a rest stop.

Search divers found a pair of tan slacks Friday with the keys belonging to the Corolla and wallet with Cutler's identification on a partially submerged branch in the Baraboo River. A black leather belt was found on a nearby branch believed to belong to Cutler, according to a report issued by the Sauk County Sheriff's Office.

The items were found about 300 yards downstream from where a backpack and blankets were discovered on Monday.

Cutler's cell phone indicated the last time it was used was at 12:30 am. Saturday.

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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2007, 06:47:40 AM »



Buffalo Grove investigators take lead in search for SHS student
http://www.pioneerlocal.com/buffalogrove/news/639982,bg-missing-110807-s1.article
November 8, 2007
By CHARLES BERMAN & KATIE OKON
Staff Writers

The Sauk County (Wis.) Sheriff's Department concluded the majority of the search effort for 18-year-old Buffalo Grove resident Lee S. Cutler last
week after scouring the Baraboo River and surrounding area, according to family spokesman Dan De Grazia and Buffalo Grove police.

De Grazia said Oct. 31 the Buffalo Grove Police Department will take the lead in the investigation from now on as Wisconsin officials are confident that Cutler is not in the area along the river.

Buffalo Grove police Cmdr. Steve Husak confirmed Nov. 1 that local police are now handling the investigation into Cutler's disappearance.

"We met with the Sauk County Sheriff's Department, and they did a significant amount of searching and gave over all the information. It was a productive meeting. There isn't much more they can do up there," Husak said. "They will continue to survey the area but won't be in the river again."

Husak said the Wisconsin investigators are convinced that Cutler is not in the river.

"Cadaver dogs couldn't locate him in over a mile stretch in the river," Husak said. "(Sheriff's officials) said branches and debris would stop the water flow and not allow him to be any further away."

Cutler's disappearance remained a mystery at press time.

Investigators found the Stevenson High School senior's gray 2007 Toyota Corolla, a backpack, clothing and other personal belongings in Fairfield Township, Wis., but they did not locate Cutler.

The search effort employed foot patrols, ATVs, planes and helicopters equipped with infrared scanners, sonar and cameras in addition to dive teams in the river.

"The family is having a hard time adjusting to the news," De Grazia said.

Cutler was last seen dropping off a friend at 9:50 a.m. Oct. 20 after attending a party the previous night. He failed to show up to his part-time job at Rock America in Vernon Hills, where he was scheduled to begin work at noon.



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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2007, 04:54:38 PM »

Thanks for the update Mum.  I have'nt heard a boo about this case and was wondering what is going on.  It is so hard to figure out when they just up and vanish like this.  No leads at all.  Prayers for the family.
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2007, 04:22:20 PM »

Updated 11/27: Missing teen's family plans candlelight ceremony

November 27, 2007
By CHARLES BERMAN and KATIE OKON Staff Writers
Friends and family of missing Stevenson High School senior Lee S. Cutler will be gathering at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Busch Grove Community Park, 801 McHenry Road, Buffalo Grove.

Cutler's mother, Beth Frazin, and some of his close friends will speak to an estimated crowd of 1,000 at the We Miss Lee Candlelight Ceremony.

The gathering is not a memorial. Organizers said the message will be one of hope that Cutler will still be found, and an opportunity for everyone to come together and express how much they miss the Buffalo Grove teenager.

Cutler, 18, was reported missing Oct. 20 after he did not show up at his part-time job in Vernon Hills.

After his car was located two days later off a road in Sauk County, Wis., a two-week search found many of Cutler's belongings in or along the Baraboo River.

Though police and family agree that evidence suggests Cutler was in the river, extensive searches by air, ground and water did not locate him. Cutler's whereabouts remain unknown.

Cutler's mother set up a fund in his name at Harris Bank, 500 Half Day Road, Buffalo Grove, to reward anyone that provides information that leads to finding Cutler.
http://www.pioneerlocal.com/buffalogrove/news/668952,bg-cutler-112707-s1.article


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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2007, 09:17:58 AM »

Chicago Tribune
 
December 3, 2007 Monday
Chicagoland Edition 
 
Vigil shows family still has hope;
Buffalo Grove teen disappeared Oct. 20
 

During a recent hospital stay for an injured shoulder, Beth Frazin had a dream her son was standing at the foot of the bed, tugging at her toe.

"Hi, Mom," he said before she woke up and wished it were true.

The weeks continue to pass since the Oct. 20 disappearance of her son, Lee S. Cutler, 18, a Buffalo Grove teenager whose car and personal belongings were found abandoned near a Wisconsin river.

And Sunday night, as friends and family displayed their hope in droves at a candlelight ceremony they called "We Miss Lee," Frazin put on her bravest face as she stood up and declared her love for her son.

"It was a real hard time for Lee as a senior. ... He wanted to help everyone," she told about 100 people under a gazebo at a Buffalo Grove park. "I have faith Lee is around. I know he is around.

"Lee had such a warm heart. He was loving to everyone. Let's pray for Lee. We need to know he is safe."

Frazin also had a message for her fellow parents.

"If you think this can't happen to you, think again, it can. It's devastating. Please take time to be with your kids. Just love your children," she said.

Ross Shapiro, Cutler's cousin from New Jersey, began the ceremony with a prayer.

"We miss Lee so much, we just want him to come home," he said.

Authorities in southern Wisconsin ended an air, ground and water search for Cutler in late October but continue to patrol the Baraboo River for any signs of him, Sauk County Sheriff's Police Capt. Kevin Fults said Saturday. Cutler's pants and a belt were found separate from one another on a partially submerged tree branch in the river.

"We are still treating it as a missing-person case," Fults said.

Cutler, described by friends and family as a hippie child and nature enthusiast, had told his mother that he thought about joining the Israeli army after graduating from Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.

Frazin, 50, said in an interview that she is still searching for answers and holding on to hope he will be found or return home.

"Life is hope. If you give up hope, you give up living," said Frazin, who said her son was going through a lot of stress for his age. But nothing that she knows of would lead him to leave, she said.

"It's kind of like reading a mystery novel and not knowing the end," Frazin said. "It just seems so preposterous how someone can go missing. ... My feeling is that somebody has to know something."

The night before he disappeared, Cutler got a call from Autumn Rizzio, whom he had been dating for a little more than a year. Cutler said nothing unusual during the brief conversation, nor did he mention plans to leave for Wisconsin the next day, said Rizzio, 15, a sophomore at the high school.

"I asked him why he is so stressed. I had been worried about him. He said he had no time for himself anymore, that he had been giving his time to everyone else," Rizzio said.

A Find Lee Fund has been set up at Harris Bank in Buffalo Grove. For more information, call 847-876-8408. 
 
 
http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=100020825&docId=l:709983404&start=1
 
     
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2007, 09:56:13 AM »

Where is this boy?  What is the deal with missing students in WI/IL/MN? 

I don't like the looks of this at all.  My prayers go out to his family for a resolution.
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2007, 04:00:05 PM »

http://www.wiscnews.com/pdr/news/260609

Mother of missing teen sets up reward

BARABOO The mother of a missing Illinois teen whose car was found in Sauk County in October has set up a reward fund for anyone offering information that leads to her son.

Beth Frazin, mother of 18-year-old Lee S. Cutler of Buffalo Grove, Ill., has set up the "Find Lee" fund at Buffalo Grove Harris Bank, she said.

A recent candlelight vigil organized by family and friends of Cutler in Buffalo Grove raised more than $300 for the fund, Frazin said.

Though she said she is unsure of the exact amount in the fund, Frazin said donations are welcome.

"We all believe that he's out there still," she said.

The money would go to anyone offering information leading to the whereabouts of Cutler, who was last seen the morning of Oct. 20 after dropping his friend off in his hometown after a birthday party the night before.

His car was found along Highway 33 east of Baraboo two days later. A search by the Sauk County Sheriff's Department turned up personal possessions, letters, an empty pill bottle and clothes in and around the nearby Baraboo River.

An investigator hired by Frazin to look into Cutler's disappearance said she has been getting information from interviews with Cutler's friends. But Penni Clobridge, director of investigations with ETS Investigative Services in Wilmette, Ill., said she couldn't provide that information for publication.

Frazin said she may work with a group of supporters to establish a group that would work to prevent teens from running away, or provide shelter for teen runaways.

To donate to the fund, contact Harris Bank, 500 Half Day Road, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089 or call Valbona Ceci at (847) 876-8408.
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2007, 03:52:33 PM »

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=92750

Mom: The holidays are not the same without Lee

By Burt Constable | Daily Herald Columnist
Contact writerPublished: 12/11/2007 12:18 AMSend To:

The little silver engine pulls two miniature railroad cars, the golden candle holders on the roofs serving as smokestacks.

"The train is Lee's menorah," says mother Beth Frazin, crying as she grieves the disappearance of her 18-year-old son, and smiling an instant later as she speaks of the miracle of Hanukkah, which climaxes with the lighting of all eight candles at tonight, and the hope for his miraculous return.

"He used to be," she pauses, "it just seems that the holidays are not the same without Lee."

Frazin's voice breaks. She speaks hesitantly, rocking slightly on the couch, her knees tucked up near her chest.

"My birthday was Thanksgiving. I cry every day. It's like a piece of your heart is ripped out and you don't know where it is or how to get it back. It's heartbreaking for all of us. The holidays weren't -- well, some days we didn't light candles because we were so down."

Her son, Lee S. Cutler, a bright, popular senior at Stevenson High School was reported missing Oct. 20 after he failed to show up for his part-time job at a mall. A police officer discovered his car two days later near a river outside Baraboo, Wis. His backpack, containing personal letters, and his favorite yarmulke were found on the bank. Divers found his pants, with his wallet and car keys, in the river, but an exhaustive search of the water and nearby fields and forests turned up no sign of the missing teen.

"He was really thin," his mom says. "I hope that he's eating and he's warm."

One of the leaders of a Jewish youth group and active in many Jewish activities, Cutler got a laptop computer at the climax of last year's Hanukkah "because he was a real good student," his mom recalls. His mysterious disappearance has fueled a network of concerned friends and loved ones who have met, conducted a candlelight service and communicate daily through phones, text messages and a group site on www.facebook.com.

As divers searched the murky waters for a body, thoughts about suicide and death were understandable.

"But I've never given up hope that he's alive," Frazin says. "The sheriff said if his body was in the river, they'd find it -- and they didn't."

The family has hired a private investigator and wants people to send tips by e-mail to finding_lee@comcast.net. While it may seem as if officials have investigated every bit of evidence, "people don't realize how much information they might have," says Penni Clobridge of ETS Investigative Services. A Find Lee Fund -- at Harris Bank, 500 Half Day Road, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089, Attn: Valbona Ceci (847) 876-8408 --offers a reward for information about Cutler.

Frazin said she understands if Lee isn't ready to come home yet.

"I just want to know he's OK," she says.

While she refuses to think her son might be dead, the burden of not knowing never leaves. Her wilted birthday roses, given by her 21-year-old son on Thanksgiving, rot in a vase. She stays at her mother's place in Glenview.

"There are days I don't get out of bed," she says. "I went to the beauty parlor and the lady asked how many kids I have, and I started crying."

When she was recuperating after a recent shoulder surgery, Frazin dreamed of her son.

"I felt like someone was touching my big toe, and I heard him say, 'Hi, Mom,' and I woke up," she says, "and he wasn't there."

She recalls Lee saying "I don't want to grow up" and yet talking about joining the Israeli army after graduation.. She remembers him holding the hand of a friend's little boy, and skipping. She remembers how he had the pressures of school, family and simply being a teen. She says sleeping problems drove him to see a therapist, and how he was thinking about being a social worker because he was so good at helping his friends with their problems. She says no one drove him away.

"Nobody did anything. They were there for him. He just didn't know how to open up," she says.

In the writings found in his backpack, Cutler wrote "something like 'I'm too quiet for this world,' " and "Mom, be happy. I love you," Frazin says.

"He was kind of like a clown," she says, smiling at the way he used to make his friends and family laugh. "Maybe he was happy on the outside and sad on the inside."

Her husband, older son and younger step-daughter, even the cat (which still sleeps in Cutler's bed) and dog are hurting, as well.

"We don't really talk about Lee, and I want to. We're numb," the mom says. "I feel like we're robots going through life and not feeling. The way our family deals with it is we haven't given up hope."

She works with www.teamhope.org, a support network for families with missing children, to help others avoid this nightmare. Friends of Frazin and of her son call and send text messages to her phone a half-dozen times in two hours.

"I text-message him pretty much every day," the mom says, thumbing back to her most recent message: "I miss you so much, Lee. Please be with me. I love you."

"I know he doesn't get them," she adds, "but it's what I do."

She didn't hang Hanukkah decorations or make latkes. She doesn't feel like celebrating, but her family will light the candles for this holiday.

"Mom, remember that Hanukkah is supposed to be about miracles," her older son told her. "We have to believe."

Frazin rocks again on her couch, her chin held high.

"When he comes back," she says, "it will be the greatest gift."
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2008, 08:46:36 AM »



http://tinyurl.com/2uzpuk

This site has some interesting comments by friends and other students that actually knew Lee Cutler. One comment suggests he may have killed himself over a girl. Nothing is
confirmed about this however.


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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2008, 04:57:44 PM »

Thanks BB ...so damn many missing  Sad
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2008, 01:12:44 PM »

Book May Aid Missing Person Investigation
Parallels Drawn In Local Teen's Disappearance

http://www.nbc5.com/family/14978619/detail.html
POSTED: 10:25 am CST January 4, 2008


BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. -- There's a new piece of information in a local missing persons case.

Authorities continue to search for 18-year-old Lee Cutler, of Buffalo Grove, whose car and belongings were found abandoned in Sauk County, Wis., in late October.

Newly released information indicates that a copy of the book "Into The Wild" was found inside Cutler's Toyota Corolla. The book tells the true story of a young man who leaves his parents and lives off the land in Alaska -- until he dies either from eating poisonous plants or from starvation. Either way, it was an accidental death and apparently not a suicide.

WBBM radio reported that Cutler's loved ones are clinging to the hope that he is still alive, according to Buffalo Grove Police Commander Steve Husak.

Husak said it was "... not that he told anyone, 'Oh, I'm going to do that,' it was more related to, 'He did seem to enjoy that book.'"

The investigator said that such bits of information came out as police talked with family and tried to surmise what could have happened.

"That, linked up with a remote area of Wisconsin? (We) start to see more things that seem to have parallels," Husak said.

He added that investigators have not ruled anything out in the case, which is still classified as a missing persons case.

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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2008, 11:57:17 AM »

Chicago Tribune
 
February 19, 2008 Tuesday
 
Buffalo Grove teen gone but not forgotten
 
Lee Cutler's relatives and friends haven't seen him since he drove to southern Wisconsin in late October, but they have not given up hope that the Buffalo Grove teen is still alive.

Cutler left without telling anyone, and his car was discovered later near the Baraboo River, where his pants were found snagged on a branch in the water.

Some of Cutler's friends and classmates at Stevenson High School are developing a Web site that will offer a description of Cutler, 18, as well as a photo and letters from loved ones.

Meanwhile, a Buffalo Grove police detective has entered Cutler's name into a national law-enforcement database for missing and exploited children. The site, www.missingkids.com, also includes missing adults ages 18 to 21.

"I need more help," said Beth Franzin, the missing teen's mother. "I need all the help I can get."

Cmdr. Steve Husak of the Buffalo Grove Police Department said the investigation into the disappearance of Cutler became inactive when it appeared no crime had been committed. Cutler has been added to an FBI national database for missing persons, he said.

Police continue to check with Wisconsin authorities to see if anyone such as hunters and snowmobilers who use land near the river have reported any signs of Cutler, Husak said.

Franzin reported her son missing after he failed to show up for a part-time job and then couldn't be found at a bowling alley where his fellow members of the Jewish B'nai B'rith Youth Organization met on the evening of Oct. 20.

He was last seen when he drove a friend home about 9:50 a.m. Oct. 20. His cell phone was last used the night before. His bank account has not been used, Franzin and police said.

On the day that Cutler disappeared, it is believed he first stopped at a nearby gas station he frequented because employees told police they recalled seeing him around 10 a.m.

A time-stamped receipt found in his car determined that he had stopped at Kettle Moraine State Forest in Campbellsport, Wis., near Milwaukee.

"My first thought was that he met someone online and took off," said Penni Clobridge, a family friend and private investigator with ETS Investigative Services in Wilmette who is working on the case.

The park has no surveillance cameras, Clobridge said. She also said the receipt found in Cutler's car showed he paid a $7 admission fee required for Wisconsin residents. Police say Cutler had about $80 when he left, she said.

It also appears he made a stop at a Wal-Mart in the Baraboo area. A surveillance tape photographed him inside the store alone after he had gone through the checkout line and was about to exit, said Clobridge, who has the tape and police reports about Cutler.

Cutler purchased cold medication and a bottle of Advil PM, which he took on a nightly basis because of sleeping problems, said Clobridge, adding that when authorities found his belongings, the cold medication had not been opened. One pill was left of the 50 in the Advil bottle, police and another family friend said.

Clobridge said she hasn't ruled out the possibility of foul play in Cutler's disappearance.
http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=100020825&docId=l:746955397&start=4
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2008, 02:33:31 PM »

Friends, family not giving up on missing teen


3-21-08
A non-profit group will continue an underwater search of the Baraboo River for an Illinois teen reported missing five months ago.

Meanwhile, friends and family of Lee Cutler, 18, Buffalo Grove, Ill., have not given up hope that the high school senior is alive.

About nine of Cutler's closest friends will travel to Baraboo next week to hang fliers and see with their own eyes the area where the teen's car was found.

"We just kind of want to look at the area and see where we know he last was... just kind of for sentimental value," said Katrina Englerth, a senior at Adlai E. Stevenson High School and a close friend of Cutler.

The group will visit the wayside near a corn field along Highway 33 east of Baraboo where a Sauk County deputy found Cutler's grey Toyota Corolla Oct. 22. The wayside was within walking distance of the Baraboo River, where authorities found items belonging to Cutler including an empty pill bottle, clothing, and letters to and from loved ones.

A dive team later located the teen's wallet, keys, a belt and a pair of pants in the river, but there was no sign of a body.

The high school senior ate dinner at Rokbonki Japanese Steak House in Illinois to celebrate a friends birthday the night of Oct. 19. Later that night, he attended a bonfire party with friends.

Cutler wasn't talking much and seemed withdrawn from the conversation at the party, Englerth said, and he used his cell phone to send a text message to another friend that said, "I need your help."

The friend sent a return message asking what she could do, but never heard back from Cutler, Englerth said.

"He didn't really respond, and he didn't give her anymore information than that," she said.

The next morning, Cutler dropped a friend off at home on the way to his part-time job at a mall. But he never showed up for work.

"A day turned into two days, which turned into Monday morning, which turned into finding his car in Wisconsin and then it just kind of all blew up in our faces," Englerth said.

Englerth is part of a group that started a Web site devoted to locating Cutler. That same group holds occasional meetings.

"We're not going to give up," she said.

There have been several developments recently, but nothing concrete, said Penni Clobridge, a private investigator working on the case free of charge for Cutler's mother.

Clobridge said one person thought they saw Cutler at a New Year's Eve celebration at Times Square in New York City. The person sent a video to Clobridge by e-mail.

"Oh my gosh, I sent it to (Cutler's mother), it looked just like Lee," she said.

Another person thought they spotted Cutler at an Arby's fast food restaurant. But surveillance footage proved otherwise, Clobridge said.

"Plus, he's a vegetarian," Clobridge said.

Cutler is now registered on the Web site of a non-profit group dedicated to providing resources for missing person searches, Texas EquuSearch.

Cutler's mother, Beth Frazin, said the organization will use sophisticated underwater search equipment to reopen the river search for Cutler.

A Texas EquuSearch employee confirmed the search will take place, but offered no further details.

Frazin said a group of Cutler's friends will travel to area high schools to talk about their experience and try to prevent teens from running away from their problems.

"I don't know if he's in danger, I don't know if he's just taking a break, but it's just devastating," Frazin said. "It's so horrible. It's something that has broken up my family... I don't sleep well anymore. It's as if I'm waiting for him to walk through the door."

On April 20, Cutler will have been missing six months.
http://www.wiscnews.com/bnr/news/278034
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2008, 03:02:44 PM »

After seeing Sauk County's rolling hills and beautiful scenery firsthand, friends of Lee Cutler said they can understand why their high school classmate wanted to stop in the area last October.


"He would go off on his trips," said Cutler's high school friend Brian Meyer. "He really liked to observe nature."


But none of Cutler's friends who visited the area Wednesday could explain why the trail of a missing person case ends at a wayside on Highway 33 east of Baraboo.


After making the two and a half hour drive Wednesday morning from northeastern Illinois, the 10 current and former students of Adlai E. Stevenson High School visited that wayside where their friend's vehicle was found Oct. 22.


"It explained why he would've gone there," Meyer said, adding that Cutler loved the outdoors and was attracted to beautiful scenery.


The teens ventured away from the wayside to the nearby Baraboo River, where authorities found some of Cutler's personal possessions, including a backpack, blankets, an empty pill bottle and letters to and from loved ones. A dive team later found some of Cutler's clothes in the river, but no body.


They also visited downtown Baraboo, eating lunch at a local restaurant and shopping at a thrift store. They hung fliers around the area.


Meyer and Cutler were good friends. They would hang out together most days after school, Meyer said, and Cutler was at a bonfire at Meyer's home the night before he disappeared.


"When I first heard he was gone, it was like, 'OK, Lee is just chilling somewhere,'" Meyer said. "Then, when the whole thing stretched into November, it was just like, 'Wow, he's gone.'"


Meyer said it's difficult dealing with the unknown. He tries to keep a sense of humor about the situation.


When asked what he thinks happened to his friend, he says with a smile, "My version involves aliens."


But the unknowns surrounding Cutler's disappearance are making things difficult for his friends.


"The problem is there's nothing that says he's definitely dead and nothing that says he's definitely alive," said Stevenson High School senior Anna Graham.


Though there is evidence pointing to the possibility that Cutler drowned in the river, Graham said a dive team should have been able to locate his body.


"The divers said a bunch of people have drowned in the river, but they've found them all," she said.


The teens still meet on a weekly basis to discuss their next move. Some of them occasionally speak to students at other schools about what it's like to have a friend vanish.


They also want to talk with officials at their school in Lincolnshire, Ill., about what they felt was a less-than-adequate response to a delicate situation.
"There were some problems with how information was handled," senior Katrina Englerth said. "There were teachers that made some really inappropriate comments."


One teacher told Cutler's ex-girlfriend that Cutler likely was dead, Englerth said.


The group will be split up soon. Many are headed off to college in different parts of the country in the fall. But they plan to keep in touch.


College freshman Mark Levy said he was Cutler's friend for seven years. He was visiting home the weekend that Cutler disappeared.


Dealing with a lost friend isn't easy, he said. But he keeps a positive attitude.


"I'm dealing with it in the same way (Lee) would want me to deal with it," he said. "Lee is more diligent than people give him credit for. I think he's fine."

http://www.wiscnews.com/bnr/news/278826
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2008, 01:17:06 PM »

9 months later, missing Ill. teen case has gone cold

August 2, 2008
It's been more than nine months since Lee Cutler's car was found at a wayside east of Baraboo on Highway 33. But the whereabouts of the 18-year-old high school student from Buffalo Grove, Ill., are still a mystery and his case has gone cold.

"We've administratively closed the case," said Buffalo Grove Police Department Commander Steve Husak.

Police could reopen the case at any time if they come across new information, Husak said, but nothing new has materialized for months.

Cutler was seen in his hometown of Buffalo Grove after dropping a friend off the morning of Oct. 20. He had been at a birthday party the previous night.

Sauk County authorities found his car in the early morning hours of Oct. 23, and later found his personal possessions in and around the Baraboo River near a wayside on Highway 33. A dive team search of the river turned up Cutler's pants, wallet and keys, but was unsuccessful in locating Cutler.

Cutler's mother, Beth Frazin, has given authorities a DNA sample, which will be stored in a database.

"That's more so for when bodies are located," Husak said.

He said Sauk County Sheriff's Department officials are adamant that Cutler's body is not in the river.

"Especially after a lot of rains this spring and flooding and things, that would have dislodged a body ... " Husak said.

In May, an Illinois-based underwater search expert traveled to Sauk County to search the river using advanced sonar equipment. But his boat never touched the water.

A private landowner that had provided river access to authorities when Cutler first went missing was unavailable, said Dennis Watters of TeamWatters, Inc.

But Watters said he surveyed the area, and thinks Cutler should have been easy to find if he were in the river.

"We looked around at it, and to be honest with you, it would have been hard for them not to have found him," Watters said.

A private investigator is still following up on leads for Cutler's family, but hasn't had any new ones in a while.

"Everything is basically on hold. It's just a waiting game," said Penni Clobridge, director of investigations with ETS Investigative Services in Wilmette, Ill. "Chances are he's someplace and he doesn't want to come back."

Clobridge said she suspects Cutler met a friend in Wisconsin who helped him disappear.

http://www.wiscnews.com/bnr/news/299049
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« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2008, 02:07:19 PM »

Posted: Wednesday, 15 October 2008 9:34AM

New Information On Note Left By Missing Buffalo Grove Teen

(WBBM) - This coming Monday will mark one year since the disappearance of a Buffalo Grove teenager, Lee Cutler.  And now there is new information about him and the note he left behind, near his locked car in the Wisconsin woods.
 
Lee Cutler's mother Beth Frazin cautions about reading too much into the note.
"He said, 'My head is too big for my body.  I finally get to sleep.  I love you, Mom.  Please be happy.'"

See the "Let's Find Lee!" Facebook page HERE

Beth Frazin believes her son, who was 18 when he disappeared, may have wanted people to think he had killed himself to buy more time to get away.

"I am convinced totally that he did not take his own life."

And the copy of the book "Into the Wild" that was found in his locked car?  Frazin says it was required reading for school. And she does not believe it means he left the real world to live off the land, as the book's main character does.

"It happened to be in his car."

Beth Frazin says the last time she saw Lee, he hugged her.  And held on longer than usual.

Frazin says Lee Cutler needed to get away, partly because of the volatile relationship he had with his stepfather, Barry Frazin.

"He was an addict, all around.  And he was smoking pot with my kid."

Lee's stepfather died almost two months ago.

Beth Frazin says she'd like her son Lee to know it's safe to come home.

Beth Frazin asks anyone who may have information about her son Lee Cutler, who would be 19 now, to contact her at oneredraisin2@aol.com.

Frazin hopes her son may walk back into her life on Monday based on something Cutler had written on a web page before he disappeared.  That he would be "home on Monday."

Frazin is clinging to the hope that Monday means this coming Monday, the one-year anniversary of the day he vanished.

"So I'm really hoping that he'll be home.  That that was some kind of message."
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Comments on site: 
 
 10/15/2008 10:53AM My prayers are with you
I have a 20 yr old son who I worry about daily. Luckily he is still near me in body so I can't imagine the heartache you are going thru. My prayers are with you. As a mother, I truly hope your instincts about Monday are correct. God bless you both.

10/15/2008 12:20PM You are in My Prayers
I am praying for you! I pray peace for your soul and I ask God to calm your spirit! This is in the hands of God almighty

10/15/2008 12:58PM Spare Me!!
I am sick of hearing how a step mother or step father has abused children to the point child needs to run away... Frazin says Lee Cutler needed to get away, partly because of the volatile relationship he had with his stepfather, Barry Frazin. "He was an addict, all around. And he was smoking pot with my kid." if the mom knew there was an issue why did she not kick the loser out of house, i am sure the son would have backed her and would still be at home...who's to say this lady wont hook up with yet another loser who once again abuses kids that are not his, i am sorry but hopefully the son is alive and will someday contact mommy.
 
http://www.wbbm780.com/pages/3141297.php?contentType=4&contentId=2902205
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Nut44x4
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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2008, 02:16:42 PM »

I just need to comment..... Marijuana is not a drug and it is not addictive. Chemicals in pot are not addicting, such as in cigarettes. The only so called addiction to pot is psychological...not physical. addiction to pot is nonsense.
And just for the record, I do not smoke it. I quit many years ago. It made me stupid and I simply quit.
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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2008, 12:12:57 PM »

Quote
Lee's stepfather died almost two months ago.

Beth Frazin says she'd like her son Lee to know it's safe to come home.

Why wasn't it "safe" before?  Because the stepfather was there?  IMO Lee Cutler had every right to be safe and feel safe in the home he lived in.  If it was otherwise, who had the power to change it?  (short of stepfather dying?)  His mother had that power.  It's all about choices.  Beth Franzin chose to marry a man and continued to be married to him and live with him even though there were problems.  Enough problems to use the phrase "safe to come home".  I think she had a duty to her son, who didn't have a lot of choices to make it safe for him.  All jmho
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Nut44x4
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2008, 01:22:52 PM »

I do not believe Lee is alive 
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