Search effort ends Friday for missing US Navy Sailor Seamus Gray, last seen outside bar in Waukegan

Gray was seen in video outside the Ibiza bar in Waukegan on Saturday

ByJohn Garcia and Stephanie Wade WLS logo
Friday, March 24, 2023
Search effort ends Friday for missing US Navy Sailor Seamus Gray, last seen outside bar in Waukegan
The search of U.S. Navy Sailor Seamus Gray ended Friday with no sign of the 21-year-old last seen outside the Ibiza Bar in Waukegan.

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (WLS) -- Waukegan police said the search effort for Seamus Gray ended Friday after an extensive effort and no sign of the missing Navy sailor.

The search was expanded Friday to North Chicago, toward the naval base, where they suspect Gray might've been heading.

"We did search the heavily wooded area, the beaches along the coast of the water and also the Coast Guard was out on the water as well searching," Waukegan Police Commander Scott Chastain said at a press conference Friday. "After an extensive search, exhausting all of our efforts, we made it all the way back to the base and we were unable to locate him at this time."

Commander Chastain said drones and a canine were used to help the searchers, which included Navy personnel.

WATCH | Waukegan police end search for missing Navy sailor

Waukegan Police Commander Scott Chastain says a search Friday failed to locate missing US Navy Sailor Seamus Gray.

After Friday's search came up empty, Commander Chastain said the search effort was ending.

"We've searched every area we can search at this time," he said.

Commander Chastain said the efforts in their investigation into what happened will continue.

"If we develop any other leads, we definitely will be coming back out if that is what our leads take us to," he said.

Police said the last time the 21-year-old Florida native and Navy sailor was spotted on camera is at 2 a.m., walking very close to the lake shoreline.

Surveillance video around 1:30 a.m. Saturday shows Gray, dressed in red, standing outside the Ibiza Bar on Genesee Street with friends, after managers said he appeared drunk and was asked to leave.

Minutes later, another camera showed him walking alone through an alley behind the bar, heading east toward the lake.

His mother communicated with him from Jupiter Florida earlier in the night.

"We were on a FaceTime call while we were both out for St. Patrick's Day. We talk no less that ten times a day. We're in contact all the time," said the missing sailor's mother, Kerry Gray.

But his mother has not heard from Gray since last Friday night.

'He is my life': Mother asks for help to find Navy sailor

A mother asks for help to find her son, a US Navy sailor last seen in Waukegan Saturday.

One hundred US Navy personnel helped in Friday's search. Most of the land they're covering is privately owned, so they said they had to get access from property owners.

"We've exhausted all means on land, and along the coast, so I don't know what else there is to search unless we develop new information," Commander Chastain said. "Right now we pray for Seamus"

Gray is from Jupiter Florida where a small group of friends gathered to pray at his church.

"You feel so helpless," said family friend, Cynthia Hawkins. "You look for a higher power. I can't find that boy right now but maybe someone stronger than me can."

Police said they are evaluating their next step. In the meantime, they are hoping for help from anyone who may have seen Gray after the last video of him in the alley.