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Article updated: 10/3/2013 10:04 PM

Missing man's car found in Vernon Hills

By Steve Zalusky

The car belonging to missing Lake Villa resident Nicholas Steward was found Thursday evening in Vernon Hills, Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said.

However, authorities continue to search for the man himself.

Nerheim said the 2008 white Saturn was discovered by a Vernon Hills police officer at 5:30 p.m. next to an apartment complex at 955 Westmoreland Drive. The officer was responding to an unrelated call.

"Every officer in Lake County and Cook County has been looking for this car," Nerheim said.

The officer saw the empty car parked at the end of the parking lot, near a cornfield and under a tree.

The car has been towed to a secure location to examine it for potential evidence, Nerheim said.

Meanwhile the search for Steward continues through surrounding areas, including cornfields. The search involves several K-9 units and 15 police agencies.

"I don't know how close we are," Nerheim said. "But we hope to find him."

Steward, who is married and the father of a 1-year-old son, was last seen on Sept. 20. The I-PASS in his Saturn registered at the Touhy toll plaza on I-294 that evening, according to police.

On Sunday afternoon, more than 100 volunteers searched a more than 200-square-mile area, starting in Lake Forest and extending to areas between Steward's home and his office in Wood Dale.

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