UPDATED: Community Helps In Search For Strokosch
Police, Oak Parkers uniting to help locate missing father of two.
Update, 10:32 a.m. Friday. We've posted an update on the search here. Please refer to that link for any forthcoming updates as they become available. Thanks for reading.
Update, 10:29 p.m. Here's a look at some of the coverage around the Web.
- Oak Park resident Jassen Strokosch missing since Wednesday morning
- Volunteers organize search of Thatcher Woods for missing Oak Park parent
- Surprised, shocked to learn about Jassen
Missing Persons of America
Update, 6:17 p.m. Oak Park Police Department Cmdr. LaDon Reynolds said there is "no indication of foul play" in the disappearance, adding that family members reported to police an unexpected absence by Strokosch was "highly unusual."
"Out of concern for the family and friends, we're trying to gather as much information as possible to locate him," Reynolds said.
Update, 5:37 p.m. More than 100 volunteers are braving the extreme heat and canvassing the Oak Park area to help pass out fliers regarding the disappearance.
Karen Blatchford, a neighbor of the Strokosch family for about eight years, was distributing copies of a flier generated by Oak Park officials (flier here) to commuters at the CTA Blue Line Oak Park stop.
"We just want him to come home," she said, adding that volunteers were positioned at multiple CTA stops throughout the area.
Many of the fliers were made available to the ad hoc group assembled at a private residence in the 1100 block of South Scoville Avenue, where the dining room table contained stacks of photocopied fliers.
Resident Nancy Guarino was fielding consecutive phone calls and assigning volunteers to locations on all sides of Oak Park, from the Austin community to Thatcher Woods in River Forest.
One Washington Irving teacher, who declined to give her name, said she was helping because the "Irving family is very tight."
"We do whatever we can to help out."
Update, 4:04 p.m. Bill Strong, an Oak Parker and former colleague of Strokosch, said the community response to the disappearance has been "striking."
In a tweet, he said the firm and "extended family" of Jascula Terman — the large, Chicago-based public relations firm where Strokosch rose the ranks from an IT guy to vice president and Chief Information Officer — is hoping and praying for his safe return.
Strong said another colleague is expecting to post fliers about the disappearance near local CTA train stops this afternoon.
Meanwhile, folks over at Live Here Oak Park continue to share information about Strokosch and his role in the community.
Update, 3:45 p.m. Irving PTO looking for volunteers to pass out fliers tonight. Bring tape, walking shoes and water to stay hydrated in the heat. More here.
Update, 3:31 p.m. Forest Park police officials say they've sent a Detective Sergeant and TAC officers to help out with the case.
Update, 3:23 p.m. Just heard back from Berwyn Police Department. They say they're aiding in the search. Awaiting word from Forest Park and River Forest police departments...
Update, 2:17 p.m. A police cruiser belonging to the Cook County Forest Preserve Police Department was parked at Schuth's Grove, located at Des Plaines Avenue and Cermak Road in Forest Park. An officer there — the only law enforcement near the intersection on Thursday afternoon — told Patch they were on routine beat patrol and not part of any search.
Update, 11:47 a.m. Laurent Pernot, Strokosch's colleague for about a decade at Platform Public Affairs, said there isn't much to add about details of the disappearance, saying the statement issued by police "was inclusive of what we know."
Pernot is urging community members who may have spotted him to contact authorities.
"We really hope someone comes forward," he said.
Meanwhile, Pernot said the family is grateful for the outpouring of support from the community.
"Obviously [Jassen] is completely deserving of the love and respect that permeates Oak Park. That's meant a lot to the family," he said. "It’s really been heartwarming. It’s been noticed and appreciated."
Update, 10:58 a.m. The Oak Park Police Department issued a statement this morning saying Strokosch, 39, was last seen at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the area of Cermak Road and Desplaines Avenue in Forest Park.
He is described as 6 feet, 1-inch tall, weighs 145 pounds, and has long, brown hair and hazel eyes. "When last seen, Strokosch was wearing a plaid button-up shirt, t-shirt and either blue jeans or khaki pants. He is believed to be on foot."
An Oak Park parent and former PTO president has gone missing, according to postings on various news and social media outlets, including Patch.
Laona Tanner Fleischer posted a message on the OP-RF Patch Facebook page. It reads:
From Jamie Peterson-Strokosch: To all of my oak park friends and community. If you see Jassen Strokosch please call the oak park police or my home 660-9323 or cell 312-498-8977. He has been missing since 8 Am on 7/19/ and the Oak Park Police have a missing persons filed on him. thank you.
A similar message, posted by Thomas Purrenhage appears on the "shout stream" on our homepage.
Elsewhere on the web, readers of Live Here Oak Park are beginning to discuss the disappearance of Strokosch, a former president of the Washington Irving PTO.
Recently, he organized the Chicago Ragnar Relay, a race from Madison, Wisc. to Chicago, to help raise money for the renovation of Irving's tattered parking lot — Strokosch began his leg of the race at 1 a.m.
He's also lead an effort to transform barren concrete outside of the school into bountiful gardens for the students.
According to the online biography at the website for the public relations firm he helps manage, Stokosch "supports client goals by harnessing the power of the Internet, social networking sites, blogs and text/mobile communications."
To that end, he's kept a presence on various social networks, including Windy Citizen, Live Here Oak Park, the Huffington Post and Twitter, where his last status update shows a July 18 Foursquare check-in at Dunkin' Donuts, 6820 Roosevelt Road in Oak Park.
Please return to Oak Park-River Forest Patch for updates as they become available.