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Local

Aurora man found on Fox River island Saturday was veteran, NIU grad

State representative shared social media post in 2016 seeking information

Trey Soesbe
Trey Soesbe

MONTGOMERY – The skeletal remains found Saturday on an island in the Fox River were those of a missing Aurora man and Northern Illinois University graduate.

A group of volunteers found the remains during river cleanup Saturday, and the Kendall County Coroner's Office announced Tuesday that they were those of Trey Nathan Key Soesbe, 30, of Aurora. A member of the coroner’s office said Soesbe had been reported missing to the Aurora Police Department in December of 2015.

According to correspondence posted on social media by state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit in the summer of 2016, Soesbe served as a specialist in the Army National Guard and earned a master’s degree in political science at NIU.

According to the coroner’s office, the investigation will continue with the assistance of the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office, the Aurora Police Department and Loyola University.

The Aurora Police Department posted on its Facebook page that Soesbe was last seen by a family member around 1:30 p.m. Dec. 29, 2015, when he was dropped off at Hesed House, a homeless shelter at 659 S. River St., Aurora. However, Soesbe never registered at Hesed House and never spent the night there, according to police.

Soesbe has had “alcohol and drug problems in the past and does suffer from psychological challenges,” according to Aurora police.

Kifowit, D-Oswego, posted what she referred to as a “heart wrenching” email she received from Soesbe’s father in July of 2016 regarding Soesbe’s disappearance and the man’s struggles with alcoholism and bipolar disorder. She shared the post, and others did as well, hoping for information that would lead to them finding Soesbe.

After news was released that Soesbe’s remains had been found, Kifowit shared the post from 2016 and wrote that she remembered meeting him years ago.

“It is at least a closure for his family, but a reminder of the struggles of our service men and women,” she wrote. “Prayers for his family and friends. I still remember when I met him so many years ago; and it breaks my heart he is gone.”

The email from his father listed his son’s struggles, and said he had gotten a job at the Hollywood Casino and was living in a halfway house when he had another relapse. He described his son as “hopeful” the day he disappeared, that he was trying to get his job back and get back into the halfway house.

“I last saw him that afternoon, in Hesed House parking lot, and he gave me a big hug and said ‘I love you, Dad, see you Sunday,’” the man wrote to Kifowit. “His cell phone has had no activity since that afternoon, when he was on the phone with my sister and his phone went dead after he told her he was ‘down by the river by some dangerous people’. He never picked up his paycheck at the casino, his food stamp card was not used, he didn’t file his taxes. He simply vanished.

“Trey always had big dreams, but even bigger addictions and mental health burdens to carry."

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