By Bob Uphues
Brookfield police continue to be tight-lipped about their investigation into the disappearance of 53-year-old Erica Thompson, who has not been seen since Sept. 25 and who police termed as "endangered" in a press release issued over the weekend.
Thompson's family reported her missing Oct. 1, and her son at that time posted a message on Facebook stating that she had not called in sick to work and had not contacted family and friends.
Michael Russo, her son, also stated that the rear door to her residence had been left open and that the air conditioning had been left running. Dishes were left piled in the sink and by his mother's bed and surveillance video footage had been erased from cameras at the residence.
"None of this adds up," said Michael Russo in his social media post. "She barely leaves the house to go to work or the store."
Brookfield Police Chief Edward Petrak said detectives had searched the residence for evidence on Oct. 1 and confirmed that it didn't appear anyone had been home for some time. Two cats left inside the residence appeared not to have been fed "for a while," Petrak said.
At the time of her disappearance, Thompson lived alone at her Brookfield residence, said Petrak, though she had lived with someone else there in the past.
Police went door to door in the neighborhood to talk to residents, as well. According to the press release issued by police on Oct. 5, Brookfield police used several police dogs, including a bloodhound, to try to pick up a trail and have been "tracking down every lead or clue that may be linked to Ms. Thompson's disappearance."
Also still missing is Thompson's vehicle, a dark metallic purple 2014 Nissan Juke with Illinois plates E27 3380.
In his Oct. 1 Facebook post, Russo stated that his mother's phone had been traced to Missouri. Asked about that information and whether the investigation has spread outside of Illinois, Petrak declined to elaborate, saying, "We'll look wherever our leads take us. There's a lot of work we need to do."
With Thompson's disappearance about to enter its third week, Petrak said, "The goal right now is to find her and the vehicle. The longer it goes, the more concerned we are."
Anyone who has any knowledge or tips regarding Thompson's whereabouts or her vehicle is asked to call the Brookfield police tip line at 708-244-4862 or email tips to the West Suburban Major Case Assistance Team to firstname.lastname@example.org.