Personal Items of Nick Steward Found On, Near Body; Found After Car Discovered on Westmoreland, Vernon Hills


Police announced Friday morning that a body was found around 10:30 p.m. Thursday in a densely wooded area about 3/4 of a mile southeast of the area where Steward’s white 2008 Saturn Aura was found earlier on Thursday by a Vernon Hills police officer. Police recognized the vehicle while on another police call in the area. Personal items belonging to Nicholas Steward were discovered on or near the body. The identity of the body and the cause of death have not yet been confirmed. The body was found badly composed and affected by wildlife in the woods, requiring a DNA test for positive identification. The body was also found with two cuts to the right wrist, a cut to the left wrist, and a cut to the left upper arm.

Vernon Hills police and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office are investigating the case. Last night authorities were searching a large wooded area behind a parking lot at 955 Westmoreland Drive, Vernon Hills, where the car was discovered, but police did not reveal that a body was found last night until early this morning. The location where the vehicle was found is about one-half mile (2500 feet) east of the location of a fatal crash that occurred on Friday, September 6, 2013 at Westmoreland Drive and Route 83, two weeks before Steward was reported missing. No connection has been revealed between the two incidents.

Vernon Hills police were assisted by Lake County sheriff’s deputies, Gurnee police, Lake County Forest Preserve police, Lincolnshire police, McHenry police, Mundelein police, and the Countryside Fire Protection District. Six K-9 units also searched the field, and the Lake County Major crimes Task Force was on the scene.

Friends and family had been involved in intense search efforts in previous weeks, and updated search effort coordination and search information on a Facebook page — Find Nick Steward ( …

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