The family of Thomas “Tommy” Howe, who was found dead in the Des Plaines River near Libertyville on Tuesday, said they are humbled by the love and support they received during the search for the missing man.
Howe, 24, of Antioch, was reported missing to the Antioch Police Department following a crash on Interstate 94 at mile marker 16.75 on January 22.
He left the scene on foot towards the Old School Forest Preserve near Libertyville, witnesses reported.
His body was recovered shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday from the Des Plaines River near Libertyville after an alert kayaker spotted a jacket along the shoreline on Friday that matched the description of Howe’s gray North Face jacket, according to Antioch Communication Specialist Jim Moran.
“Over the last 24 days, your love, support, and selfless acts gave us the strength we needed to press on,” Howe’s family said in a statement Wednesday.
“While the outcome was not what we were hoping and praying for, we were able to locate Tommy, and now have the honor to lay him to rest.”
The Lake County Coroner’s Office said an autopsy Wednesday morning showed Howe had signs consistent with drowning.
Lake County Chief Deputy Coroner Stephen Newton said no signs of foul play were found during the autopsy.
The family said they would cherish the times they spent with Howe for the past 24 years.
“Tommy will live on in our hearts forever. He will continue to watch over all of us from above,” Howe’s family said.