CROWN POINT | A 31-year-old man officials had been searching for since he failed to return to the Kimbrough Work Release Center was found dead last weekend.
James Deweese was found dead at 11:42 a.m. Saturday in Calumet City, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. The cause of death is pending toxicology results.
Calumet City Assistant Chief Tom DiFiori said Deweese died inside a car from an apparent drug overdose in the 400 block of Torrence Avenue. Deweese was the only one in the vehicle and foul play is not suspected, DiFiori said.
James Deweese left the Kimbrough Work Release Center on Jan. 14 for a medical appointment but never returned, said Kellie Bittorf, executive director of Lake County Community Corrections.
According to court records, Deweese pleaded guilty in November 2013 to residential entry stemming from a break-in that happened in March 2013 in the 4600 block of East 101st Avenue in Merrillville.
His father, Randy Deweese, said his son struggled with heroin addiction. The family previously lived in Crown Point but moved to Michigan City and then Westville in hopes of getting their son away from drugs.
Randy Deweese and his wife, Ruth Deweese, were critical Tuesday of how the Kimbrough Work Release Center handled the situation. The family does not think officials there did enough to look for their son after he failed to return to the program.
"He was treated badly," Randy Deweese said. "He was struggling so hard with addiction. He was trying to get a job, he wanted to get on house arrest and move with us."
Though officials told the family James Deweese had been spotted in north Lake County, Ruth Deweese said she believes that was not true because cellphone records indicate he never received or made a call after Jan. 14.
Bittorf previously said a fugitive search team was searching for Deweese. She said Tuesday the program had not received the full details from police about what happened.