Hunter goes missing in Lake County, recovery mission underway

A 60-year-old man went missing while hunting near Fourth Lake in unincorporated Lake Villa on Monday morning. Authorities are now calling the situation a recovery mission.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office found the man's boat and personal belongings at his duck blind near Fourth Lake. However, the man himself remained unaccounted for.

In an effort to locate the missing hunter, police were conducting a thorough search of the marshy area surrounding the lake and the lake itself.

Lake County police tried pinging the man’s phone several times to no avail.

"It’s something you don’t wish on anybody," said neighbor Grace Zuba.

Lake Villa Fire Chief Doug Slazes says he’s careful not to speculate about what may have happened.

"Unfortunately, the gentleman has been missing since 10:20 this morning. We weren’t notified until 2 p.m. so we don’t have a last seen point at all", said Slazes.

The Lake County Sonar team aided in the search, along with crews on six boats, combing through shallow and murky water. The man’s boat was located on the far east shore line with the motor still running.

"With the motor being engaged, we don’t know where he is," Slazes said.

Neighbors describe the missing hunter as a family man who not too long ago retired. He and his wife were looking forward to moving out of  state soon.

"He was a sportsman. He hunted all of his life – dear, turkey, goose and so its really tragic," one neighbor said.

"He didn’t drink. He and his wife live down the street," Zuba said. 

Crews called off the search just before 6 p.m. Monday. Teams will return at 9 a.m. on Tuesday as the private lake will be closed.