KINGSTON – Steven Schulz told friends he was meeting a man near Genoa to get a gun before he was last seen Sunday.
Schulz, 23, was reported missing late Monday night, and multiple search and rescue crews were looking for him near where his abandoned truck was found outside Kirkland on Tuesday.
Schulz's longtime friend, Thomas Joiner of Sycamore, said that the last time he heard from Schulz was at 1 p.m. Sunday. During their phone conversation, Schulz told Joiner about his plan to get the gun.
Joiner graduated from Sycamore High School with Schulz in 2009. He said he didn't know who the man was Schulz was going to meet or what kind of gun Schulz was going to get.
“I'm hoping worst-case scenario, things went bad with the exchange and he jumped in the river,” Joiner said. “He's a pretty good swimmer. Maybe he's just balled up in a corn field somewhere. Maybe he's just chilling somewhere, thinking things through.”
Emergency crews have been searching the area near Route 72 and Glidden Road in rural Kingston since Schulz's abandoned Ford pick-up truck was found parked in the area early Tuesday by a DeKalb County's Sheriff's deputy on patrol.
Police are currently searching the north branch of the Kishwaukee River with a rescue boat. Water levels in the river have risen with the recent rainfall. K-9 officers searched the riverbanks to try to find evidence, but the dogs have not alerted police to anything, DeKalb County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Gary Dumdie said.
"We have no indication he's out here or not," Dumdie said. "He hasn't been heard from."
DeKalb police detective Lt. Bob Redel said officers have searched Schulz's phone records, which show he hasn't contacted anyone since Sunday.
Schulz's roommate, William Cornish, said even on his days off, Schulz would usually pop into work at Insight Services in DeKalb, where he works in maintenance.
Cornish said he last saw Schulz was around 10 a.m. Sunday when Cornish was leaving. Cornish said Schulz agreed to work on his truck later, giving no indication he didn't plan to come home.
Cornish said he started to worry when he came home Monday night and learned Schulz had not returned since Sunday.
“This is not Steve,” Cornish said. “This is not like him at all.”
Police have talked to Schulz's roommates and girlfriend about his possible whereabouts, Redel said.
"They're concerned," Redel said. "This is out of the ordinary."
Schulz's truck was towed from the scene as evidence.
The following emergency crews are assisting in the search: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, DeKalb Police Department, Kirkland Police Department, Kendall County Search and Rescue, Boone County Emegency Management Services Search and Rescue, Naperville's search and rescue team, and the Illinois Wisconsin Search and Rescue Canine Team.