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Local News

Family seeks to raise money for daughters of Plainfield man reported missing, found dead

The family of a Plainfield man who was found dead nearly a week after he was reported missing has created a GoFundMe for his surviving daughters.

On Monday, Rex Smiley Jr., the brother of 28-year-old William Smiley, created the GoFundMe for his late brother to help his two daughters, Arlaya and Emalyn, according to the fundraiser’s web page.

“The hardest part of all of this is knowing that those two beautiful girls will grow up without their daddy. They will never get the chance to be walked down the aisle by their father,” Rex Smiley said on the GoFundMe website.

Rex Smiley’s GoFundMe seeks to raise $20,000 and had gathered more than $7,890 as of Tuesday afternoon.

William Smiley was reported missing by his family Aug. 11 and his disappearance was investigated by the Joliet police.

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 Route 30 exit ramp on Interstate 55.

State troopers searched the area and found the body of William Smiley, 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 “exact date and time the crash occurred” remains unknown, police said.

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

Tinley Park Police Chief Matthew Walsh said the Rizza Cadillac Buick GMC dealership contacted the police after 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.

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