Rolling Meadows police search for missing man's remains

Updated 1/26/2017 4:34 PM

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. -- Rolling Meadows police are searching near a residence northwest of Joliet for the remains of a local man who went missing more than 40 years ago.

Michael Mansfield was 19 when he disappeared on New Year's Eve in 1975. In 2011, his one-time roommate confessed to killing him.


Police told the Daily Herald ( ) that the investigation into Mansfield's disappearance led detectives to the home in unincorporated Will County.

The search comes more than five years after Russell Smrekar, Mansfield's one-time roommate at Lincoln College, confessed to the killing. Mansfield disappeared after leaving his home to visit a friend.

Smrekar, who was from the Joliet area, was serving a 300-year prison sentence for a 1976 double-murder when he told investigators in October 2011 that he killed Mansfield. Shortly after, Smrekar died of a terminal illness at Menard Correctional Center.

Authorities had long suspected Smrekar in the case. Six days after the disappearance, Mansfield was scheduled to testify against Smrekar in a theft case.

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Smrekar had been accused of stealing record albums from a girl's dorm room. The charges were dismissed after Mansfield went missing.

Smrekar was convicted of killing 24-year-old Jay Fry and his pregnant wife in Lincoln a year later. At the time of the killing, Fry was scheduled to testify against Smrekar in a theft case in which he allegedly stole steaks from Kroger.


Information from: Daily Herald,

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