Lake County officials say the body found in field in Vernon Hills has been positively identified as Nicholas Steward of Lake Villa.
Steward, who was married and the father of a 1-year-old son, was reported missing after he was last seen Sept. 20. An I-PASS transponder in his vehicle registered at the Touhy toll plaza on I-294 that evening, according to police
Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim said a body was located in a Vernon Hills cornfield about 10:30 p.m. Oct. 3, near where Steward's car was discovered hours earlier. Results from the Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Laboratory confirmed the body was Steward's, officials said Monday.
Nerheim's office said in a statement the matter remained under investigation. An autopsy revealed Steward died of apparent self-inflicted knife wounds, officials said.
Steward's 2008 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. The cop saw the empty car at the end of the parking lot, near a cornfield and under a tree.