|Derick Higgins Missing since 3/21/13 |
from Smithfield, IL
"I don't even know how to explain it. There is not a way to explain it, there is not a word in the dictionary that can explain how we feel,” his parents Tim Higgins and Deb Corsaw told CBS8.com.
"When we first saw him, the first thing he did was stand up and gave us both a hug and it was....such a relief," said Higgins.
It was during a routine traffic stop that police noticed Higgins acting nervous. When his name came up in the police computer as endangered, police took him into protective custody and brought him to the local hospital. Higgins had been living alone on the street for 22 months begging for money, fending off robbers, getting beaten and burned and eating out of trash cans. His father told the Journal Star that his son tested negative for drugs, was struggling with memory problems. CBS8.com reported that his parents believe, "prior accidents contributed to his disappearance and his memory loss."
“We are very nervous....we have a long road ahead," his father told CBS8.com. But we see light at the end of the road, we are very happy about everything.”
His parents encourage parents of the missing to have hope.
“Don't give up. Be persistent,” added Corsaw.
Alford, Abbie. Man missing for two years is found in San Diego. January 22, 2015. CBS8.com.
Accessed April 26, 2015 from http://www.cbs8.com/story/27910166/man-missing-for-two-years-is-found-in-san-diego.
Luciano, Phil. Luciano: Parents of Derick Higgins say he's looking forward to coming home. January 21, 2015. Journal Star.com. Accessed April 26, 2015 from http://www.pjstar.com/article/20150121/NEWS/150129783/?Start=1
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Search for Missing Illinois Man Expands to Florida
Derick A. Higgins, 21, was last seen on March 21, 2013 at the home he shares in rural Smithfield, Ill. with his mother and stepfather. On the morning of his disappearance, he spoke with his stepfather shortly before leaving in his vehicle around 7 am. At the time, no one had a reason to be concerned.
On the day of his disappearance, Higgins reportedly withdrew some money from the bank. At some point during the day, he also used his debit card to purchase gas in Creve Couer, Ill., about an hour away.
Derick's father, Tim Higgins, told Alexandra Sutter of WMBD/WYZZ that the disappearance was very unlike his son, who had been a stand-out athlete at Cuba High School and had never before missed a day of work. He admits that maybe his son had been a little depressed and withdrawn more recently.
Early on March 24, Higgins was classified as "missing and endangered" which, according to police, typically means that the person is depressed or could be a threat to himself.
Later that night, his 1998 tan Buick LeSabre was found abandoned just outside Tallahassee, Fla. The car had been involved in a minor single car accident on Tharpe Street in which it left the roadway and ran over a road sign before coming to a stop.
A passing police officer noticed the abandoned car and had it towed. It then sat in storage.
The car was finally traced back to Higgins after a towing company sent a bill for storage via registered mail to Higgins's address. The surprised family notified the Fulton County Sheriff's office in Illinois, which contacted the sheriff's office in Florida. The Florida authorities are working with the Illinois police to help find the missing man.
The authorities have not found a connection between Higgins and Florida, and no one is sure why he would go there.
The Fulton County Sheriff's office believes Higgins stopped for gas in Creve Couer, Ill., about an hour away, because his debit card was used. The office stated previously that they do not believe foul play was involved in the disappearance.
Derick's dad told WMBD/WYZZ that he just wants to know if his son is safe. "If he sees this or hears of us, just contact us. Let us know you're safe and OK. If you don't want to be found, we understand. We'll quit looking. We just want to know you're OK."
Higgins is 6 feet tall and weighs about 160 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored hoodie and blue jeans.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Derick Allen Higgins is requested to contact the Leon County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office at (850) 922-3300 or the Fulton County, Illinois, Sheriff's Office at (309) 547-2277.
First published: March 21, 2013. Revised April 26, 2015.
Name/age: Derick Allen Higgins, 21
Last seen: 3/21/13 Smithfield, Ill.
Physical description: 6 feet tall, 160 pounds, brown hair, blue eyes wearing a dark-colored hoodie and blue jeans.
Notes: Higgins was driving a tan 1998 Buick LeSabre with a cracked/broken windshield and front bumper damage, license number is L987041. The car has since been recovered in Florida.
Status: Missing endangered
Leon County Sheriff's Office. (2013, April 18). Press Release: MISSING: Derick Allen Higgins From Illinois, Car Found on Tharpe Street. Retrieved July 2, 2013 from http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/MISSING-Derick-Allen-Higgins-203616501.html
Luciano, Phil. (2013, April 15). Missing Smithfield Man's Car Found in Florida. Journal Star. Retrieved July 2, 2013 from http://www.pjstar.com/news/x935165774/Missing-Smithfield-mans-car-found-in-Florida#axzz2XugbuedO
Staff article. (2013, April 15). Missing Smithfield man's car found with tow bill. Canton Daily Ledger. Retrieved July 2, 2013 from http://www.cantondailyledger.com/article/20130415/NEWS/130419378/1001/NEWS#axzz2XuvKbcAD
Sutter, Alexandra. (2013, April 1). Family Continues Search for 21-Year-Old Derick Higgins. WMBD/WYZZ.Retrieved July 2, 2013 from http://centralillinoisproud.com/fulltext?nxd_id=315552
Staff article. (2013, March 31). Former North Fulton sports star Derick Higgins reported missing. Gatehouse News Service. Retrieved July 2, 2013 from http://www.pjstar.com/free/x1037530685/Former-North-Fulton-sports-star-reported-missing#axzz2XugbuedO