What were you doing when you were 26? Some readers may be in that age bracket, but I've been living twice that long, yet I can remember the days of being 26, drinking with my friends and closing the bar. What if it was January 19, cold and frigid, 8 degrees, your friends left earlier, and you were pretty well intoxicated? Wouldn't you call your friends, ask them to come for you, maybe call a cab? They say the first thing to go when you're drinking is your judgement, and being numb to the cold, maybe you would catch a ride with a stranger.
All speculating aside, this is precisely what happened on a cold January 19 night in DeKalb, Illinois. Bradley Olsen vanished into the night, intoxicated, last seen in the parking lot looking for a ride home. No one knows if he got that ride or where he ended up that night. It's safe to say he didn't walk away from his family, his daughter, and his life.
According to reports, Brad's family was on vacation, returned home on January 24, and when they had no contact with him, filed a missing persons report and started searches of the area around Bar One, the last place Brad was seen. The family had never been out of touch with Brad for more than a couple days, so it was totally out of character, and they feel he has been harmed.
Something has definitely happened to him because he lived here with us,” his mother, Sue Olsen said. “There was never a 48-hour period where we didn't know where Brad was. Even whenever we would go out of town, he'd always call.”
Sue Olsen, Brad's mother, describes him as always smiling, living life to the fullest. Brad's little girl sees his billboard and waves, telling her daddy "hi".
Over the last two years, extensive searches have been made, over land, under water, air searches and scent dogs. Nothing has turned up as a clue to what happened to Brad. Hope is very powerful, but when it fades, families seek closure, they need to come out of limbo.
"I would have never thought that when this all started we would be talking about a two-year anniversary," Maple Park resident Sue Olsen said Tuesday, her voice quivering.
They will never give up the search for Brad, never stop looking for the answers to pass along to his daughter, never will they give up hope that he is found. There is a close knit family that is waiting, 2 years and 6 days as of this writing, and they need to know that Brad Olsen is resting in peace.
The man with the infectious smile, the love of life, his family, and his daughter is out there somewhere. If you hold the key to finding him, please come forward and give this family the answers they need.
Please join us at Peace4 the Missing