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Author Topic: Thomas McKay, Jr. 24 from Mokena, IL./ last seen 12/12/08 Orland Park, IL (BODY FOUND)  (Read 3009 times)
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Nut44x4
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« on: February 26, 2009, 01:12:16 PM »

Chicago Tribune
 
February 26, 2009 Thursday
 
Man vanished shortly after seeking solace from priest, calling paramedics for help ...
 
The case of a 24-year-old man who has been missing for more than two months is a mystery to police and his family.

In the weeks leading up to his disappearance, Thomas McKay Jr. had been having increasingly severe emotional problems -- so bad that he was almost hospitalized, family members said. And shortly before he left, he had sought solace in a priest and called for help from paramedics.

Since he walked out of his father's Orland Park home just after 7 a.m. Dec. 13, his family has not seen or heard from him. They've passed out fliers, scoured homeless shelters and churches and logged onto Internet sites hoping to find some clue.

Police said they do not suspect foul play.

"It's a very unusual case for this area. We know that he didn't have access to a car and that he has no prior history of this behavior," said Orland Park Detective Larry Davids. "It's a mystery."

McKay's family said they were frustrated by their failed attempts to get him admitted to a mental health facility since a series of tragic events in high school damaged him emotionally.

"There are really limited resources available for those who find themselves in need of help for a troubled family member," said his mother, Cathy. Her son grew up and lived in Mokena with her but was visiting his father, Charles, when he disappeared.

Thomas McKay began drawing away from friends and family when he was a junior in high school after two of his closest friends died in separate car accidents within six months of each other, family said. That same year he lost a 38-year-old uncle, also in an auto accident.

"Trying to cope with three tremendous losses is a heavy burden for any teenager to handle. It became too much for him to deal with by himself," she said. "Tommy didn't want to burden any of us [family members], and I think that stopped him from seeking help."

A 2001 graduate of Lincoln-Way East High School, he is quiet and shy, his mother said. He took classes at Joliet Junior College and worked retail jobs to earn money for school. An animal lover, he often looked after his 22-year-old sister's two boxers and has a cat named Xena: Warrior Princess.

Cathy McKay said that as he became more depressed and reclusive, his parents wanted to check him into a mental health facility, but he didn't have medical insurance and there didn't seem to be a place for him.

A week before he disappeared, McKay had a severe anxiety attack and was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park. The family said they were told that their son's potassium level was low, and he was given a potassium pill and returned home.

The day before he disappeared, McKay reached out for help at an Oak Park church. McKay said her son often visited local churches seeking solitude. The family thinks he chose that particular Catholic church because it still celebrates masses in the traditional Latin form. A priest from the church confirmed that on Dec. 12, McKay visited. The two talked and the priest urged him to go back home, even paying his cab fare.

But that night he was still distressed. His mother thinks it may have been because they had finally found a treatment center Downstate and he was overwhelmed.

Then just after midnight, apparently suffering another anxiety attack, he called Orland Park paramedics. Nobody else in the house was awake at the time.

McKay was not hospitalized because, after speaking with paramedics, he changed his mind about going, according to a paramedics' report of the incident. The report also said McKay did not pose a threat to himself or anybody else, so there was no immediate need to hospitalize him. Officials would not say what was said to McKay during his conversation with the paramedics, citing medical privacy laws.

"He was experiencing obvious signs of emotional distress, but nobody has told us why he wasn't taken to a hospital," Cathy McKay said. "If he had been, he might not have disappeared four hours later. He might have been admitted somewhere and gotten some help."

Have you seen him?


Thomas McKay is 6 feet tall and weighs 165 pounds. He has pale skin, green eyes and short brown hair. Anyone with information can call Orland Park police at 708-349-4111. 
http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=100020825&docId=l:932404174&start=6
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2009, 09:58:58 AM »

Man found dead in Tinley Park creek is missing Mokena man

Tinley Park police have confirmed that Mokena resident Thomas McKay Jr. is the man found dead Tuesday in a Tinley Park creek. McKay's parents today identified his remains through photos.
His family remembered McKay as a devout Catholic.

The 24-year-old Mokena resident often read the Bible and enjoyed going to Mass, his family said.

McKay's parents still don't know why he went missing in December, but they think he might have been headed to church. "Whenever he had the opportunity he tried to go to church," McKay's mother, Cathy McKay said Wednesday.

Religious jewelry McKay was last seen wearing is the way his family plans to identify what might be his remains.

About 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, a Tinley Park Park District crew cleaning a hillside of a creek near 168th Street and 78th Avenue noticed something in the water and called a supervisor, who called police, park district director John Curran said. The creek runs along Centennial Park, a 118-acre popular destination with a skate park and a walking path that surrounds a 12-acre lake.

The decomposed body of a man was found face down in about 8 inches of water. It was lodged in a beaver dam and easily could have entered the creek outside of Tinley Park, Curran said.

Orland Park police tentatively say the body is McKay. Tinley Park police will not confirm McKay's identity because the Cook County medical examiner's office has yet to identify the body.

McKay's family hopes today to see pictures of jewelry the man found in the creek was wearing. That's how they plan to identify the body. The medical examiner took the photos, and Tinley Park police plan to get them to the McKay family.

Tinley Park Cmdr. Pat McCain said police do not suspect foul play. Police do not know how long the body was in the creek.

Besides his faith, Cathy McKay, of Mokena, said her son enjoyed snowboarding, family vacations and animals. In his younger years, McKay played football and wrestled.

In 2000, McKay lost two close friends and an uncle in separate car crashes. That's when the normally shy, "good hearted" teen became reclusive, his mother said.

"He was always kind of shy, even before the accidents," Cathy McKay said. "He was a lot more outgoing prior to all these deaths. And he just slowly lost contact with people because he pretty much just stayed in."

Around 7:15 a.m. Dec. 13, McKay was staying with his father, Thomas McKay Sr., when he left without telling anyone and never came home again. Maybe he went to Mass near his father's Orland Park home, his stepmother, Denise McKay said. The creek where the body was found is on the way to McKay's father's home. Maybe McKay went out to clear his head, his mother said.

If the body found in the creek is McKay, his family thinks his death was accidental. He had enough cash on him to buy a hotel room for a night or a meal, his mother said. The December disappearance was the first time McKay, who has a 22-year-old sister, went missing, Cathy McKay said.

"This was not typical behavior for him," she said.

McKay's disappearance led to an extensive search that might end today. His family contacted churches, YMCA and American Red Cross sites and every homeless shelter in Illinois, Cathy McKay said.

"And after all this, he (possibly) was a mile from home," she said.

http://www.southtownstar.com/news/1463295,030609TPbodyfolo.article
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2009, 10:01:38 AM »

McKay was positively identified by family on Friday.

McKay, 24, a devout Catholic, was wearing religious jewelry when he went missing Dec. 13, according to his family. McKay was found still wearing the jewelry, his mother, Cathy McKay said Friday. He also was found with his wallet, which still had cash and identification inside.

Funeral services for Thomas McKay Jr., a Mokena man missing since December and found dead Tuesday in a Tinley Park creek, were held Mon 3/9.
http://www.southtownstar.com/neighborhoodstar/frankfort/1465523,030709mckay.article
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2009, 01:32:49 PM »

aren't they going to confirm that it is indeed this young man through dental records? If not, I would forever wonder if it really was him and not someone else's dead body with His items on the body? that is just me though...I would want proof positive and it wouldn't be the first time that bodies got mixed up for one reason or another...
sad though for whomever it is and their families...
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