Searchers look for clues leading to missing Joliet woman
By Bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org November 4, 2012 8:04PM
Joliet Police alert Sarah Ogeto, of Chicago, that they will be in the area as groups of volunteers search for Ogeto's missing sister Linda Fellenbaum near Mistwood Golf Course in Romeoville, Illinois, Sunday, November 4, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun Times Media
Anyone with information about Linda Barr Fellenbaum’s disappearance or whereabouts is asked to call police at 815-724-3100 or anonymously call CrimeStoppers at 800-323-6734.
Updated: December 6, 2012 6:13AM
JOLIET — Friends, family and people just wanting to help combed through neighborhoods and fields Sunday looking for clues that might tell what happened to Linda Barr Fellenbaum, a 32-year-old woman who has been missing since Oct. 21.
Fellenbaum, according to police, was last seen walking away from a house in the 3600 block of Crockett Court. The cul-de-sac is part of the Old Renwick Trail subdivision off of Renwick Road and near Interstate 55.
What happened is a mystery.
Family members said Fellenbaum had been living in the house for two months with a man. She was said to have left without her shoes, cell phone and car.
Fellenbaum’s mother is suspicious.
“I didn’t think she ever left the home on Crockett Court,” said Deborah Barr of Chicago while searching for clues about the disappearance of her daughter with family and friends up a long stretch of fields and marsh under power lines running north of Renwick Road.
What’s unlikely, said Barr and others, is that Fellenbaum would just run off.
Fellenbaum had three children. One of them was staying in Hinsdale at the time of her disappearance, but Fellenbaum had made arrangements to pick him up the day after her disappearance.
“On Monday, she was supposed to show and take him to school — never showed,” Barr said. “That’s not Linda.”
Fellenbaum lived in Hinsdale before moving to Joliet two months ago. She previously lived in Chicago, where most of her family is now. They are originally from Rockford.
Her sister, Sarah Ogeto of Chicago, said some of Fellenbaum’s high school classmates who now live in the Chicago area were among those who came to help the search. The search started at 10 a.m., and nearly 50 people had arrived to help by early afternoon.
“I’m hoping that we find some information from someone — some kind of evidence of what direction she was going in that can help us to find her,” Ogeto said.
Searchers knocked on doors in neighborhoods, hoping to find someone who saw something. They looked through open fields, hoping to find something that belonged to Fellenbaum. They looked in an area that stretched far from the house where Fellenbaum was reportedly last seen.
Ogeto was stationed in the parking lot of the Mistwood Golf Course in Romeoville along Renwick Road, not far from the Joliet subdivision from which Fellenbaum disappeared. She showed a map of the search area, which stretched northeast deeper into Romeoville and northwest into Plainfield as well as south into parts of Crest Hill and Joliet.
After a few hours of searching, Ogeto said, there were “no hard clues” but they were finding that people in the neighborhoods were aware of the situation. Joliet police had earlier canvassed the neighborhoods looking for information.
Still, a woman living next door to the house where Fellenbaum reportedly was last seen said she had not heard of her disappearance. Another next-door neighbor declined to talk about it.
No one answered the door at the house where Fellenbaum was reported to be staying.
“It’s surreal,” Sean Kelly of Chicago, a friend of Fellenbaum, said of her disappearance. “You’re sort of in disbelief. I’ve never been part of something like this before. I want to help. You want to find her, but then you don’t want to find her.”
Kelly, like others, feared the worst. He also found it unlikely that Fellenbaum would run off and leave her three children behind.
“She loved those kids,” Kelly said.
Christine Melton of Justice was looking for clues on behalf of her sister. Melton said her sister was best friends with Fellenbaum but could not join the search because she lives in Arizona. So, she asked Melton and another sister to help look for clues.
“She said it was not like Linda to not call her children — to disappear and not call her family at all,” Melton said. “She said it does not look good.”