Authorities are trying to determine whether a man found dead in a pickup truck that had gone into a tree is a man reported missing after leaving his South Side job to head home to Kankakee in August.
Richard Roberts, 47, of St. Michael's Drive in Kankakee County near Bourbonnais, was reported missing on Aug. 21 by his brother, with whom he had been living, after Roberts failed to return home from work the day before, said Kankakee County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ken McCabe.
The body of a man identified as Richard Roberts, recently of Plainfield, was found Wednesday afternoon near 138th Street off southbound Interstate 57, along the east edge of a Cook County Forest Preserve, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. It was unknown how long the man's body had been there, but it had been some time before it was found about 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said.
The man found dead Wednesday died from multiple injuries after the truck struck a fixed object in an accident, the medical examiner's office found this afternoon.
Although authorities this afternoon had not made a definitive identification of the man found Wednesday, the man found Wednesday matched the age of the missing man, and State Police said he was found in a 1993 purple Ford Ranger pickup truck—the same model that Richard Roberts of Kankakee was driving when he was last seen leaving work on Aug. 20.
The missing man had been traveling from Kankakee to work a construction job near 113th and State streets, McCabe said. When he was reported missing, Chicago police found he was last seen leaving work after telling coworkers he did not feel well, according to a missing person alert issued by Chicago police, which was canceled after the body was found near I-57.
The missing man’s cell phone was last working on Aug. 21, when authorities were able to find a signal for it near 12600 S. Halsted St., according to the Chicago police alert.
Kankakee investigators were awaiting word from the medical examiner’s office regarding a final identification of the man found in the pickup, McCabe said.
An autopsy had been scheduled for today, but information on the results was not immediately available this afternoon.
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