Mother of missing Joliet man makes emotional plea to City Council: 'All I'm asking for is some help'

A Joliet man has now been missing for nearly a week and his family is hoping the public helps them in their search for the 37-year-old. 

The mother of Robert Long, who went missing last week, made an emotional plea to the City Council Tuesday night asking for help in finding her son.

In the recorded Joliet City Council meeting, Jewell Robinson said her son was last seen on April 11 at his residence at the Riverwalk Homes, located at 316 N. Bluff St.

"My heart is heavy right now," Robinson said to the council. "What I'm asking for is community help, neighborhood help. I'm doing a search party Friday morning at 10:00 and asking people to come out and support me and my family and try to find my son."

At the meeting, Robinson also urged the city to dispatch divers to the Des Plaines River, citing its proximity to the Riverwalk Homes.

"I just want the city, whoever can, to help me," said Robinson. "I've been on the phone all day trying to get them in the water, trying to get them to get some divers and see if his body is in that water."

Joliet Fire Chief Jeff Carey confirmed a boat was on the river searching this week, but had to leave due to a fire. Long's sister said the fire department did return to the river Wednesday as well. 

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Robert Long

Members of the Joliet City Council spoke about potential ways they could help, including the use of a K9 to track Long's scent.

"My fear is that I ain’t going to see my child again. That’s my fear – that’s my fear," said Robinson. "I last saw him at 7:45 Thursday morning. When I left, he was still home, getting in the shower."

Then Long walked to a convenience store on Route 30 and Hickory, a few blocks from this home. He was seen for the last time that night by neighbors outside his apartment building.

Long is not married but is a father to seven children, ranging in age from 11 months to 16 years old.

"Numerous detectives did go to that area and recanvass that apartment building and the area that surrounds 316 North Bluff," said Joliet Police Sergeant Dwyane English. "We are treating this case with as much veracity as we would any missing persons case. Unfortunately, our detectives aren’t coming up with many leads."

In a missing person's bulletin posted on Facebook by police, Long is described as an African American male weighing approximately 150 pounds, standing between five-foot-six and five-foot-eight. 

He has short black hair, brown eyes and a mustache and goatee. During his last sighting, Long was wearing a red jacket, blue jeans and sunglasses. Additionally, he bears a tattoo on his forearm that reads, "CPT."

"I've been in Joliet 23 years. I've never been in trouble. My son [has] never been in trouble, and all I'm asking for is some help in finding my son," said Robinson.

The search party is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. Friday. The starting location will be 316 N. Bluff St. 

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Long is asked to contact 911 or the Joliet Police Department non-emergency line at (815) 726-2491.