DOLTON | Nearly 20 people assisted authorities Monday to help distribute fliers and search for a local man who missing since March 19.
Austin Battle, 19, was last heard from last week when he called his father, asking to be picked up at Sibley Boulevard and Burnham Avenue in Calumet City. But when the father arrived at that location, Battle was nowhere to be seen.
Police Chief Ronald Burge said that police have received tidbits of information during the weekend from friends and relatives that give them a better understanding of Battle, who suffers from depression.
Although a search of his cellular telephone records indicate there has been no activity since that last call, Burge said Monday he is “hopeful” Battle will be found alive and unharmed. Burge said a check with the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office found no bodies matching Battle’s description there.
Burge met Monday at noon with 18 of Battle’s family and friends. Following a briefing, they were taken by police officers to various locations across Dolton, Burnham and Calumet City.
Guiding them were some officers who donated time off to help with the search. Burge said finding Battle has become the priority for the Dolton Police Department.
“We’re going to cover the entire community,” Burge said. Volunteers were given copies of a flier that depicted Battle, while describing him as 5-foot, 11-inches tall, and last seen wearing a gray hoodie sweat shirt, jeans and black boots.
Village President Ronnie Lewis said he has confidence in his Police Department to find Battle soon.
“We’re hoping for the best in this situation,” he said. “I’m pleased to see so many people willing to give up their time to help us.”
Lewis admitted he did not have any firm information about Battle’s whereabouts, but, he said, “I have a good feeling about this.”
The fliers ask that people who see Battle or might know something about him contact the Police Department at (708) 841-2533.
“I hope we’ll start getting calls quick from people who have seen” Battle, Burge said. “We’re hoping that he’s all right and that he turns up soon.”