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Family organizes new public search party for missing 18-year-old Aidan Beckford

Aidan Beckford, 18, of Huntley, with his mother | Family provided photo.

A search party has been scheduled for Saturday morning in Nunda Township for missing 18-year-old Aidan Beckford and the public is encouraged to attend, his family said.

The family organized search party comes days after a large-scale search effort, consisting of search and rescue personnel, a dozen canines, firefighters, police officers and divers, which took place Wednesday morning with no results.

Beckford’s family has asked the public to meet at Kief’s Reef, 3505 South Wright Road, in Nunda Township at 9 a.m. Saturday. Assignments for areas where to search will be passed out at the meeting point, a Facebook Event scheduled by the family said.

“From our searches we have found that you should wear long sleeves and long pants as there are a lot of burrs in the forest (choose clothes that they won’t stick to such as jeans). It’s also very swampy in areas so hiking boots or gym shoes would be a good idea. Bring bug spray, sunblock, plenty of water and snacks. Binoculars would be helpful as well if you have any,” Jackie Schmuldt Beckford said.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office said that Aidan Beckford, a Huntley resident, was last seen around 11:30 p.m. Friday in the area of Nish Road and Highview Drive in Nunda Township, which is east of Crystal Lake and south of McHenry.

The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was activated to bring sonar equipment and divers from fire departments as far away as Waukegan and Buffalo Grove to help search the Fox River on Wednesday.

Search and rescue personnel gather in Nunda Township Wednesday morning to search for 18-year-old Huntley resident Aidan Beckford | Photo: Alex Vucha.

More than a dozen canine units and search and rescue workers converged to the area. Helicopters were seen overhead and a Fox Lake Fire Department airboat was searching a heavily wooded area and the water with no results.

The family previously organized an unofficial search party with the public on Monday. Police spoke to numerous residents and businesses in the area where the man was last seen.

He is described as being 5-foot-8, 160 pounds, with blue eyes, thick curly brown hair and wears glasses, which he was not wearing at the time he went missing. He was wearing beige shorts and a blue shirt.

Police said that Beckford was with a family member when he jumped out of a car during an argument. He did not have his cellphone or wallet with him and had no shoes on when he walked away.

Beckford’s father passed away three years ago and the area in Highview Estates where Beckford went missing is the last place his dad lived, his step mother said, adding that the man is not in a good mental state and has been depressed for several years.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office is asking that residents and businesses in the area check their security camera footage from August 30 around 9:30 p.m. and onward for Beckford or any unfamiliar person.

Anyone who sees the man is asked to not approach him and instead call 911 or the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office at 815-338-2144.


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