Missing Berwyn grandfather found dead in North Riverside

A Berwyn grandfather of 11 and great-grandfather of four who went missing last week was found dead on Tuesday.

Jose Arevalo, 83, was discovered around 11 a.m. near Cermak and Harlem in North Riverside. His body was found in an overflow parking lot of an auto dealership, Berwyn police said.

According to police, officers were investigating a separate incident when they came across Arevalo's body.

A cause of death has not been revealed, but police say it appears there is no foul play.

On Monday, Arevalo's family shared an emotional plea for help finding him.

"He's been gone too long, he needs his medication, he's probably confused, cold… he needs to be home." said Esnelia Vargas, Arevalo's daughter.

The daughters of Arevalo say he walked out of the family's Berwyn two-flat shortly after 1:30 p.m. last Thursday and hadn't been seen since.

A Ring camera caught a brief image of him crossing the street a block away, but from there, the trail went cold.


His family said Arevalo had dementia, which had become severe over the past year, and likely worse since he wasn't taking his medicine.

The family distributed more than 2,000 fliers with his picture and information.

Family, and even complete strangers, were searching large portions of the city where he had lived in the past, like Little Village, Brighton Park and along Cermak Road.

"We've had people reach out and say, ‘well we might have seen him, we’ve gone out and looked.' Unfortunately they've all been — hasn't been him — but everybody's vigilant, everybody's out there looking," said Alejandra Arevalo, Jose's other daughter.

Berwyn police also used teams of bloodhounds to track Arevalo's scent, but they were only able to do that for several blocks.