A fundraiser has been started to fund a memorial and scholarship in memory of Antioch resident Thomas Howe, who went missing before being found dead near Libertyville earlier this year.
Howe, 24, of Antioch, was reported missing to the Antioch Police Department on January 22.
His body was recovered on February 15 from the Des Plaines River near Libertyville, Village of Antioch Communication Specialist Jim Moran said at the time.
A preliminary autopsy performed by the Lake County Coroner’s Office indicated that Howe had signs consistent with drowning.
Lake County Chief Deputy Coroner Stephen Newton said at the time that no signs of foul play were found during the autopsy.
Marc Schneiderman, one of Howe’s fraternity brothers at Miami University in Ohio, created a GoFundMe account on Monday.
The account has already raised over $9,000 in 24 hours.
Schneiderman said he will be using the money to create a memorial on campus to honor Howe, who was “not just a friend but brother, cousin, son, among other things.”
Schneiderman said the memorial bench requires a $5,000 donation to the university. Howe’s family will get to choose what is said on the memorial.
The additional money raised will then go towards a scholarship fund with Sigma Alpha Mu at Miami of Ohio, Schneiderman said. “This is a great way to honor Tommy.”
Howe was reported missing in January following a crash on Interstate 94 at mile marker 16.75.
He left the scene on foot towards the Old School Forest Preserve near Libertyville, witnesses reported.
Investigators found no indication of trauma in Howe’s vehicle following the crash.
Search teams on January 24 located Howe’s work cell phone in the forest preserve but found no other signs of the man.
In mid-February, a kayaker on the Des Plaines River between Route 60 and Rockland Road spotted a jacket along the shoreline that matched the description of Howe’s gray North Face jacket.
The kayaker called police and teams consisting of multiple police canines and fire department divers conducted initial searches of the river, Moran said.
Due to unfavorable river conditions, divers paused the search and resumed days later, at which time they located Howe’s body.