A body found in a car last week by West Chicago police has been identified as Eugene Jonsson, an 84-year-old man who went missing from his Arlington Heights home in August, according to the DuPage County Coroner.
The coroner's office identified Jonsson by his dental records, officials said Monday, but a cause of death is still pending investigation. No foul play is suspected.
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Jonsson and his wife, Marion, would have celebrated their 61st anniversary next week, and had lived in Arlington Heights since 1958.
"It was horrible not knowing," Marion Jonsson said Monday. "After a while you give up hope, but there's a little thing in your head that says 'Well maybe he's all right.' I'm so sorry for how it ended, but I'm glad we found out."
West Chicago police say an officer was flagged down at 4:49 p.m. Thursday by a landscaper working in the area of Route 59 and Hawthorne Lane. The landscaper told the officer he discovered a crashed car in a deep ravine off the roadway.
Responding officers found a dark gray Buick sedan about 50 feet off the road. A partially decomposed body was found next to the vehicle, police said.
Jonsson left his home on the evening of Aug. 22 to pick up food at a Palatine restaurant. He never returned. He was seen shortly before 1 a.m. Aug. 23 near Yorkville in Kendall County, where he asked for directions to an intersection in Naperville.
Family members said he may have been trying to find his way to his son's house in South Elgin. While Jonsson had not been formally diagnosed with any health issues, he had been struggling with bouts of memory loss, his family said.
Marion Jonsson on Monday said her husband worked as a monotype operator for many years and belonged to several bowling leagues. Besides his wife, he's survived by two children and three grandchildren.
Jonsson will be remembered with a memorial service at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Our Saviours Lutheran Church, 1234 Arlington Heights Road.