Lee Cutler: Missing since 2007 from Illinois

 Lee Sterling Cutler, 18,  has been missing since October 20, 2007 from Buffalo Grove, Illinois.

Lee was last seen at a friend’s home in Buffalo Grove in the morning.  He was to go to his job the following day but he never arrived. His 2007 Toyota Corolla was found parked at a rest stop near the bluff’s east of Barboo, Wisconsin along the river, which was 200 miles from his home.  The door was locked, but when police investigated the car they found a receipt from the Kettle Moraine State Forest dated Oct. 20.  A search along the river found a backpack and blanket which were determined to belong to Lee.  Lee’s pants, wallet, car keys and some cash were found in the river.  A bottle of over-the-counter pain medication and sleep aid was also found among his belongings. Lee also had a copy of the book, Into the Wild, and letters addressed to his family.  One of the notes to his mother stated, “My head is too big for my body, I’ll finally get to sleep.”   No one knows if this was a suicide note or the note was saying, being away from civilization gave him piece of mind.

Lee attended Adlair Stevenson High School and was active in a Jewish synagogue and youth group as one of their leaders, which makes it unlikely that he would have committed suicide.  Lee had taken a mug from his bedroom which had around $600 in it.  The money was never found.

There is a possibility that he may have gone overseas, as Lee showed some interest in the Israeli Defense Force, but his family doesn’t believe he would leave without saying goodbye.

One of Lee’s friends, Katrina Englerth  wrote on her blog that the last time Lee used his cell phone was at 12:30 a.m. Oct. 20th.  He texted “Sasha” to say “I need your help.”

Katrina also wrote on July 28, 2010 on Lee’s Facebook page:

“There is confirmation that Lee was alive in late 2007. Someone made contact with him at a homeless shelter in Minneapolis, MN. He talked about going to California. While this is still almost three years ago, it is confirmation that he survived outside of WI. It is confirmation that he most likely staged the items found in the river. If you have any contacts in the California area, please send them to this page or email them a picture. We are hoping for all your help in locating our friend and family member. We just want to know that he is alive and happy. We all miss him so much.Feel free to message any administrators with any questions.

Thank you,
Katrina”

In August of 2015, a tip came in to Missing Persons of America that Lee may have been spotted in Gilroy, Calif. as a transient.  The information was given to the family.  They have read the tip I gave them, but have never responded back to me or asked for anymore information.  Out of the hundreds of tips I receive and pass to the family, this is the only time the family has not responded back to me.

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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

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