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Local News

Car in missing man's fatal crash was reported stolen: cops

Missing man found dead in tall grass Saturday

A Plainfield man found dead nearly a week after his family reported him missing crashed a car his employer had reported as stolen, police said.

The body of 28-year-old William Smiley was discovered in tall grass near the Route 30 exit from the northbound lanes of Interstate 55 Saturday morning.

About 9 a.m. Saturday, state troopers responded to a report of a rollover wreck and found a white 2015 Buick LaCrosse “in the tall grassy area” just yards away from the exit ramp, police said.

“A continued search of the area uncovered the body of William Smiley, who was reported missing to the Joliet Police Department on Aug. 11,” police said.

Illinois state police Master Sgt. DeAnn Falat said there were no witnesses to the crash. She said a passerby saw the LaCrosse while traveling on Interstate 55.

The car was not visible from the exit ramp and was difficult to see because of the tall grass, Falat said.

The Buick had been reported stolen to the Tinley Park police, according to the state police.

Tinley Park Police Chief Matthew Walsh said the Rizza Cadillac Buick GMC dealership contacted the police when Smiley took the car Aug. 7 but failed to return it by Aug. 12. Walsh said Smiley worked for the dealership, which allowed employees to take cars after signing a form to use them.

The police were unable to find Smiley, Walsh said.

The “exact date and time the crash occurred” remains unknown, police said.

Smiley was released from the Will County jail July 2.

Joliet police arrested him three days before on charges of reckless driving and possession of a controlled substance. After his release on bond, Smiley was required to report to Will County Pretrial Services within the next
24 hours, which he failed to do, court records show.

Smiley also did not respond to telephone calls, according to a pretrial violation report.

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