The parents of 24-year-old Thomas Howe, who went missing over a week ago following a crash in Libertyville, spoke out for the first time during an interview on national television.
Thomas “Tommy” Howe, 24, of Antioch, was reported missing on January 22 to the Antioch Police Department.
Howe was last seen wearing a gray North Face jacket, dark pants, and black and white laced Vans, according to a missing person flyer.
He is described as a male white, 5-foot-8, with brown eyes and brown hair.
Tom and MaryMargaret Howe, the parents of the missing man, spoke out about their son’s disappearance on NewsNation Now.
“It’s a nightmare. Every morning we wake up and for about ten seconds you think, ‘Oh, I’m glad that nightmare’s over.’ And then it hits us,” Tom said.
Howe started a new job and was living in an apartment with friends in downtown Chicago, NewsNation reported.
“He was traveling westbound 94. He was in one of the center two lanes. For whatever reason, he veered to the right and struck the guardrail. From that point, (he) veered back to the left, struck another vehicle and both those vehicles came to a stop in the center median,” Antioch Police Chief Geoff Guttschow said.
Immediately following the crash on Interstate 94 at mile marker 16.75, Howe left the scene on foot towards the Old School Forest Preserve near Libertyville, witnesses reported.
Howe’s parents became concerned when he was late to a family lunch.
They checked the location of his personal cell phone and it showed it was located at a tow yard, NewsNation reported.
His parents believe he was disoriented from the crash due to the damage his vehicle sustained.
“The damage that was done just told us, first of all, we couldn’t believe he got out,” MaryMargaret said. “All of the airbags had deployed, so you know, we thought there was some injury.”
Last Monday, search teams located Howe’s work cell phone in the Old School Forest Preserve.
Howe told his parents he was getting stressed from working at his apartment during the pandemic.
He sought help from a counselor due to anxious feelings the same day he went missing, NewsNation reported.
Guttschow said there is no indication leading up to the crash to be concerned about Howe’s wellbeing.
His mother believes Howe may have suffered a head injury and became disoriented in the crash. She believes a flight response may have kicked in.
“For him to walk away from that accident, that is not his personality at all. He’s got a heart of gold,” Tom told NewsNation.
“Please know that you are not in trouble by any means. Anyone will graciously greet you and get you home to us. It’s all really, really okay,” his parents said.
Police told NewsNation that Howe collided with a car occupied by a mother and her children.
Howe and the woman both pulled over and the woman checked her children to make sure they were not injured.
While she was checking on her children, Howe allegedly left the scene, NewsNation reported. The woman never had any interaction with Howe.
Multiple searches have taken place since Howe’s disappearance. A search party on Saturday turned up no results.
The Antioch Police Department continues to lead the search.
Anyone who thinks they may have seen Howe is asked to call the CenCom Dispatch Center at 847-270-9111.