Daniel Jarski, 62, was last seen on gas station surveillance video Sunday morning headed towards the Kankakee River State Park. That's where his red Chevy was found on Tuesday, but Jarski was nowhere to be found.
"This was a devoted family man and there is no way he meant to not go home the day he left," said Janace Jarski, Daniel's wife.
Thursday morning, dozens of volunteers came out to search the wooded area for the husband, father and recently retired science teacher who taught at a Tinley Park high school for 23 years.
Jarski's wife believes he could have been searching the river for antique bottles, a hobby of his, and couldn't fathom any reason why he'd want to disappear.
MISSING: We are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 62 year old, Daniel A. Jarski. He was last seen on Sunday, Sept 9, 2018 in rural Grant Park. He was last seen in his red Chevy Van bearing IL Reg 2002807. Anyone with any info re his whereabouts should call Police. pic.twitter.com/29VeZPkRHU— Kankakee Co Sheriff (@KankakeeSheriff) September 11, 2018
The groups split up to cover several miles of search area. Illinois State Police instructed the volunteers to call 911 if they found anything suspicious.
"We do not know if he is alive," said Gia Hoffman of the Missing Persons Awareness Network. "It's a 50/50 chance there's nothing left out here for us."
Dozens of volunteers working in teams spread across the state park.
"I can't imagine the unknown. That's the worst part. I rather know than not know," said searcher Heather Rzechula.
Meanwhile, Disaster Dogs of Illinois were on the scene combing the brush for clues.
"All searches are long and typically in rough terrain," said Robert Shramuk of Disaster Dogs of Illinois. "That's where the dogs will come in handy their nose will take us wherever we need to go."
Jarski left his keys and wallet at home on Sunday morning, which was normal for him. His family said they're still hoping for his safe return.
"I just want him to come home for his sons, because they love and miss him very much, so thank you to everyone who came out here today," Janace Jarski said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office at (815) 802-7159.