Police continue searching backyard for evidence related to 1982 Northbrook cold case

Officials searched near 1400 Orchard Lane, Northbrook, IL Tuesday

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Northbrook police searching backyard for clues in 1982 cold case
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Northbrook police were back Wednesday in a residential backyard, investigating new leads in a missing person case dating back to the 1980s.

NORTHBROOK, Ill. (WLS) -- Northbrook police and others who investigate major crimes in the north suburbs were out digging for a second day Wednesday in a residential backyard, investigating new leads in a missing person case dating back to the 1980s.

Investigators scoured a backyard in the 1400-block of Orchard Lane Tuesday, and said there is no threat to the public. Neighbors said investigators came mid-morning Tuesday and spent hours digging through the backyard, packing out a perimeter and sifting through dirt, some of it kept out of view by tarps.

The North Regional Major Crimes Task force arrived about 7 a.m. Wednesday, digging and sifting through dirt, hauling in rakes, bags and sifting tables while wearing white protective suits. Officials said they're working meticulously as they excavate. So far, they've dug no more than 1 foot.

"It's kind of frightening and a little sketchy to have something like this happening on the North Shore," said Judy Erickson, a neighbor.

Northbrook police confirmed the investigation is related to a cold case. Property records for the home list Linda Seymour as one of the previous homeowners. She has been missing since December 1982.

"It's interesting that they're moving and digging things up. There is a missing person and now they're digging ... I don't want to connect those dots," said Gail Crue, another neighbor.

Neighbor Lindsey Reid agreed, saying, "That's what we suspect they found, is her."

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Neighbors said a family member still lives in the home, and property records indicate Seymour's son is the current owner. Neighbors said Seymour's husband, James Seymour Sr., lived there until he died in 2009.

"We did know that the first wife went missing. We were under the impression she had left on her own accord, and that's really all we knew," Crue said. "They were always very nice neighbors to us, very cordial."

She said her family has lived there for 23 years.

Police have not said what sparked the revival of the cold case, but neighbors said Tuesday's activity has helped them make sense of events over the last few weeks.

"Evidently the village asked the son to move the shed for an easement," Reid said. "A month ago they had St. Bernards snooping around."

Work is expected to continue at the home for several days before police can provide the public with any information.

"I hope it's solved. I mean there's got to be some closure. She's been missing for so long. People who are still around," said Crue. "Yeah, it's been awhile but they need closure."

Neighbor Jody Anderson agreed, saying "I just feel bad for the children really because I can't imagine, you know, what this is all doing to them."