More than a week after a 57-year-old Gurnee man went for a bike ride and never came back, friends remain hopeful he's alive despite futile search efforts.
Andy Adler was reported missing after he left his home on the south side of town for a bike ride June 8 around 9 a.m. and didn't come home, according to Gurnee police.
Almost 150 people showed up Sunday afternoon to help search for Adler in the Lake County Forest Preserves, where he was known to ride, according to neighbor Daniel Accettura. They divided into groups of about 10 people to search the trail system.
The volunteer search included independent investigators with tracking dogs who offered to help, he added.
"Unfortunately, we haven't turned up anything yet, so we're all rather disappointed," Accettura said. "There's a lot of care and a lot of concern and a lot of people trying to find whatever information they can."
Gurnee Police Commander William Meyer said the search for Adler, a swimmer and triathlete, is particularly challenging, because Adler was known to ride up to 100 miles.
While the investigation remains open, there's been little progress made, Meyer said. Water searches have also yielded no clues. And Adler left his phone and wallet at home.
"Honestly, we haven't gotten a whole lot of leads in the case," he said.
Meyer said there's no indication of foul play at this point. But as time continues to pass without additional details, the situation becomes more bleak.
"Obviously the longer it goes on, the more concerned you get," Meyer said. "It's one of those ones where you hope for the best and you prepare for the worst, I think."
And while Adler's friends are trying to figure out their next steps, Accettura said, they're also hoping someone will come forward with new information that could shed some light on Adler's whereabouts.
Adler, who is 5-foot-10-inches, weighs 140 pounds and has graying brown hair and blue eyes, was last seen wearing black shorts and riding a blue Cannondale mountain bike, according to a police department release.
An "avid cyclist," Adler was known to use the Lake County bike path system and the Des Plaines River trail, according to Accettura.
"Even if people see the bike, that might provide a tip to where he is or what's going on," Accettura said. "We're holding out hope. We're hoping that he turns up somewhere."
Groups have been posting fliers around town and at various markers along the forest preserve system.
Accettura, who has lived next to the Adler family since 1999, described Adler as the "glue that holds our community together."
Adler, a scientist whom he described as outgoing and gregarious, was always helpful to other residents in their small subdivision, he said. As one example, Accettura said Adler mowed the lawn for another neighbor with health issues.
"He is sorely missed," Accettura said.
Adler's family could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.
"This is a really, really difficult situation for them, and we're just being there to try to help and support them," he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Gurnee Police Department at (847) 599-7000.
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