October 20, 2007

10/20/07: Lee Cutler, 18, Buffalo Grove, IL

Lee Cutler
Lee Cutler was last seen on Oct. 20, 2007. 

On the night of October 19, 2007, Lee Cutler, an 18-year old from Buffalo Grove, Ill., gathered with family and friends at a favorite hibachi steak house to celebrate a birthday party. Afterwards, his mom headed home while he played an impromptu game of hackey-sack with friends. He later met his mother at home and asked if he could stay over at a friend's house. The night went well, although Lee was reportedly quiet. The next morning (Oct. 20) at around 9:50 a.m., Lee drove another friend home, and was supposed to be headed to his new job at a Rock America store at a mall in Vernon Hills, Ill.  He never arrived.

Clues in Lee Cutler's disappearance

On October 21, 2007, Lee Cutler's gray 2007 Toyota Corolla was found at parked near a rest stop in Baraboo, Wis., 177 miles away from his home in Buffalo Grove. The wayside rest is reportedly located near a cornfield off Highway 33 in Fairfield Township and a bridge crossing the river. The area was between Baraboo, Wis. and Portage, Wis. The car was locked. After watching the car all evening in case Lee returned, the officers begin investigating the vehicle and the surrounding area.

Inside the car, police found a printed receipt indicating that Lee had visited Kettle Moraine State Forest at 1:41 p.m. on October 20. The forest has a southern unit near Whitewater, Wis. which is on the route between Cutler's hometown and Baraboo, as well as a northern unit north of Cedarburg, Wis. where Cutler has an ex-girlfriend. Cutler enjoyed hiking and had previously traveled to the area with friends. Also in the car were Cutler's clothing, backpack, blankets, and a copy of "Into the Wild," a true story about a young man leaving his life and living in the Alaskan wilderness. A note was also found that was addressed to his mother: "My head is too big for my body, finally I'll get to sleep. I'm sorry mom for being a coward, I love you mom, please be happy."

The next morning, police found many of Lee's possessions in the nearby woods, including his yarmulke, love letters from his most recent girlfriend, Autumn, and his pants. Keys found in a pants pocket fit the ignition of Cutler's car.

A few days later (Oct. 26), divers in Sauk County found Lee's wallet caught in a partially submerged branch in the Baraboo River. The wallet contained Lee Cutler's identification and a small amount of cash. The wallet was found about 300 yards downstream from where his car was recovered. Around this same time, an empty bottle of Tylenol PM was also found near Lee's car. He had been using the medication to help fall asleep.

Barry Frazin, the teen’s stepfather, said Cutler had been going through a difficult time, dealing with his grandmother’s battle with cancer, another friend having cancer, and stresses with school. The friend Cutler had driven home told police Cutler had also recently broken up with his girlfriend. He had been quiet at the sleepover and the next morning during the car ride.

Lee Cutler's case has been featured on Investigation Discovery's Disappeared, which features high-profile missing persons cases. According to the show, while many signs point to suicide, investigators are baffled why Cutler has not yet been found. After a thorough search of the entire area, they are certain that he is nowhere near the state park where his car was found.

Click here to read Disappeared's story on Lee Cutler.


Oct. 19 Lee Cutler attends a friend's birthday party and spends the night. He is reportedly quiet.

Oct. 20

9:50 a.m. - Cutler drives another friend home. He is reportedly quiet. Cutler never arrives to work at Rock America in Vernon Hills.
12:30 a.m. - Tracking of Cutler’s cell phone indicates this is the last time it was used.
1:41 p.m. - Cutler visits Kettle Moraine State Forest.

Oct. 21
1: 41 p.m. - Cutler's car is found at a rest stop in Baraboo, Wis.

Oct. 22
A.M. - Cutler's yarmulke, love letters, pants, and keys are found in the woods.

Oct. 26 - Cutler's wallet is found in the Baraboo River. An empty bottle of Tylenol PM is found near his car.

If you have information about Lee Cutler, contact Buffalo Grove Police Department, (847)-459-2560.

Facts of Interest in This Case
Name/age: Lee Cutler, 18
Last Seen: 10/20/07, 9:50 a.m., Buffalo Grove, IL
Physical Description: 5 feet,10 inches tall, 140 pounds, wearing a dark blue sweater with a red stripe and khaki pants.
Notes: Lee is a senior in high school, and one of three children. He just celebrated his 18th birthday.
Investigating agency: Buffalo Grove Police Department, (847)-459-2560.

Updated: 06/17/11.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Monique777 said...

Lee Cutler will be featured on the show "Disappeared" on Feb. 1,2010 at 9 p.m. on the Investigation Discovery cable channel. You can watch a preview of the upcoming mystery show @


Melody said...

I just watched the show on him and I hope he is found!

Sunday said...

This episode really resonated with me. I have a 16 y/o daughter and two brothers, all of which remind me of Lee .
I know exactly what can happen to a person when "their head is too big for their body".
To this day, I wonder which one of them gets to be too overwhelmed with their thoughts and emotions that I can't pull them back...

My words are dreadfully inadequate, so I won't even try. .. I hope and pray he's all right out there and that when he finds peace, he finds his mom and gives her some.

jerry baraboo said...

Just discovered the mistake I made with my posting while doing my research.
Chris and others are correct. Our prayers are with Lee Cutler and his family and friends.
I have no idea how my research comments ended up on this posting this way.
I'll update with the facts about Lee and help where I may.
I apologize and pray for the best.
Jerry Baraboo

Lori said...

This is the 2nd time I've seen this episode about Lee Cutler on Disappeared. When I see his picture, my heart just breaks for him and anything he may have been going through. I pray for him and his family and friends that he comes home soon safe. May God Bless!!!

Mbaz said...

He hasnt been found because it wasnt a suicide, why would he have all the stuff in his car if he planned on killing himself. He is probably still out there, or worse this was made to look like a suicide. The note he left is completely generic and impersonal. Nothing in that note proves that he wrote it.

L Gunter said...

In the years since I first saw this Disappeared episode, the thought of Lee has never left me. I have no idea why, but I think about Lee often and feel, for some odd reason, that he is here in Minnesota. It is an unexplainable feeling. I watch MANY of these shows, but this one has stuck with me and I have talked to MANY people about. It will not leave my thoughts. My prayers are with the family.