May 4, 2013

03/09/01 (Update): Michael Jansson, Chicago, IL

Update: Michael Jansson has been found. On March 16, 2012, the Chicago Tribune reported that a Buick LeSabre pulled from the Chicago River has a vehicle identification number matching the car that Michael Jansson had been driving when he disappeared in 2001. Authorities identified bones inside the car as Michael Jansson's through DNA testing.

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Full Story: 

Michael "Mikey" Dean Jansson, 21, a resident of Lincolnwood, Ill., was last seen on March 9, 2001 leaving the Biology Bar at 1520 N. Fremont Street in Chicago. He had been at the bar with his oldest friend, Joe, Joe's cousin, Fari, and Joe's girlfriend, Magaly, who drove the group in her car. The group arrived shortly after midnight. Sometime between 1:30 and 2:15 a.m., Michael borrowed Joe's cell phone asked for the keys to Magaly's car, a Buick LeSabre, which was parked around the corner, so he could make a call. Around this same time, Michael and another patron exchanged words. The other patron was in a party of four or five, already on his way out, when an altercation nearly took place. The bouncers stepped in before it could escalate. Club policy required that all of the patrons involved in a dispute leave the premises. Michael, according to bouncer Miles Roberts, was grateful to have avoided a fight and possible police involvement, and went outside to wait for his friends (Chicago Reader). Michael still had Joe's phone and Magaly's car keys when he left. It was about 2:30 a.m.

While Michael waited outside, the other patron who had been kicked out drove by the bar several times. Roberts noticed the guy and his friends cruising past the club entrance giving dirty looks to Michael. He flagged down a patrolling squad car and told them of the situation. The officer drove off in the direction the car went. The light-colored four-door Infinity never returned after that, says Roberts.

Joe's cousin, Fari, said he had checked on Michael two or three times after he was kicked out, but Michael never mentioned the menacing behavior from the occupants of the Infinity. Fari doesn't believe the men were hanging around the club. He says he last saw Michael around 3:15 a.m., 20 to 30 minutes before the club closed. Michael had moved the car to the front of the club and was planning to wait for them. Fari told him they'd be back out in ten minutes, but Michael asked him to not take so long. Ultimately, the friends did not come out for until 3:35 or 3:45 a.m., and by this time Michael was already gone, along with their ride. (Chicago Reader). They thought he left because he was mad or, possibly, because the police told him to leave.

Roberts's account differs slightly in that he remembers that Michael's friends only checked on him once, and this was after he had prompted them to do so. He says that Michael abruptly left the club about 2:30 a.m., which is an earlier estimate of the time he was last seen, but no one was really watching the clock. "He drove off going northbound," said Roberts, "and I didn't pay attention to see whether he had turned right going towards the lakefront or left going back to the expressway."(Chicago Reader).

Nowhere to be Found

After leaving the club, Michael's friend Joe used a friend's cell phone and called Michael three to five times. He got no answer. They drove around looking for Michael and the car, and even stopped at his sister's house and also flagged down a policeman. Nothing yielded any clues. At around 8:30 that morning, Joe again tried to call Michael, but the phone was answered by an unknown person who wanted a reward for returning it to him. The man told Joe that he had to go to court, but to call him back in two hours. When Joe called, he didn't pick up, and he stopped answering the phone after that.

Joe learned later that both his mother and his cousin, Fari, had also tried calling the phone. At around 1:30 p.m., Fari talked to a man who he believed to be African-American who answered the phone. Pretending to be Joe, Fari made arrangements to meet the man to give him $50 for the phone. "He was like, 'Meet me on Madison and Kostner. I'll be outside,'" Fari told the Chicago Reader. "I remember he said something like, 'Don't be shady about it. Don't bring no cops and stuff.'" Fari told the paper that he had no intention of meeting the man, especially when he had to be to work at 2 p.m. But Joe was going to be picking him up to give him a ride, so he planned to tell him about the plan. However, Joe fell asleep and never showed up to take him to work.

That same afternoon, Joe's mother called him twice and was alarmed to hear the stranger's voice answering her son's phone. Not knowing that Michael was missing or that her son had been with him the night before, she assumed the phone had been stolen and immediately had the service terminated. According to the Reader, "Just before it was cut off, the person with the phone placed two more calls, one at 3:16 PM and another at 3:17--both to the number of Ahmed Ali, one of the party's organizers and the person who'd driven [Joe] home that morning." Ali says that he had called Joe's phone only to find out if Joe had found Michael and the car. He recalls talking to the man with the phone--who may have said that the phone had been dropped--then he was told the battery was about to die and the connection broke.

A record of calls that were made from the phone have since shown up on Joe's cell phone bill. Some calls were made to relatives of people who work at the club, although no one will admit using the phone. The family is considering the possibility that the phone was simply dropped inside the club and has nothing to do with Michael's disappearance.

The cell phone was never recovered.

In an effort to find Michael, the car he was driving was reported stolen. According to a 2014 article in the Cook County Record, police had determined in 2001 that Michael stole the car and fled the area.

Michael's family told the media that it was very uncharacteristic for Michael to leave without telling anyone where his going. Because of this, his family worried that Michael may have been car jacked, or perhaps even abducted. Jansson was reportedly a heavy gambler through off-shore betting services, and he was wearing expensive jewelry on the night he disappeared. He also had previous arrest for cocaine possession in 1999, although he had since cleaned up his act.

Michael's family described him to the media as "a very athletic person" who loved "all types of sports, but in particular soccer and baseball." They added that he "enjoys foods such as pizza, tacos and grilled cheese" and "is very good with computers." Michael also regularly babysat his three-year old nephew and is very family oriented.

Michael Jansson Found

On March 16, 2012 the Chicago Tribune reported that a Buick LeSabre pulled from the Chicago River has a vehicle identification number matching the car that Michael Jansson had been driving when he disappeared in 2001. Authorities identified bones inside the car as Michael Jansson's through DNA testing.

The car was found in the North Branch of the Chicago River near Blackhawk Street on Saturday, December 15, by using new side-scanning sonar equipment. The vehicle was upside down and partially buried. Only about two feet of the car was visible. The area had been searched in 2001 after Jansson vanished, before the sonar technology was available, and nothing was found.

The location of the car was within a few blocks of where Michael was last seen. (See map.)

In May 2014, the Cook County Record reported that Michael's mother, Lynda, filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago for negligence. She believes her son's death may gave been prevented if the barriers the city had installed between the road and the Chicago River had not been inadequate.

Case Details
Name/age: Michael Dean Jansson, 21
Date of Birth: Sept. 24, 1979
Physical Description: 5'10", 150#, light brown hair, blue eyes, Caucasian
According to his missing person's flier, Michael "was last seen wearing a brown Eddie Bauer sweater, black Sketchers shoes, a black leather jacket, black jeans, a gold chain bracelet, a gold rope chain necklace with a two-inch Italian horn on it, a gold ring set with a $2.50 Indian head coin, and a black onyx ring with a gold line running downwards at an angle."
Last seen: 3/9/01, Biology Bar, 1520 Fremont Street Chicago, IL. Jansson was driving a friend's burgundy 1992 Buick LeSabre with the left front fender damaged and Illinois license plates numbered J739691, according to the National Center for Missing Adults.
Investigating Agency: Chicago Police 312-744-8266


Kallies, Thomas (2012, November 18).  Woman sues city for negligence after body found inside submerged vehicle. The Cook County Record. Retrieved May 4, 2013 from

Staff Report. (2012, December 16). Car pulled from river may contain bones of man missing since 2001. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 12, 2012 from,0,6408832.story?track=rss

Sula, Mike. (2001, June 21). Dead or alive? Chicago Reader. Retrieved December 26, 2012 from

Published 6/29/09. Revised 12/21/12, 12/26/12, 5/4/13.


Anonymous said...

The killer was probably never given credit for killing Jannson so he killed others to leave a clue,including JelANi briSON

Mbaz said...

This mans car still hasnt been found?
Thats definatly not a good sign. That basically points to murder.
If he was running away or committing suicide his car would have been found. Probably a cube at this point.

empehi61 said...

He almost certainly has been found. A car was pulled from the Chicago River today.

"Authorities will have to use DNA testing to determine if the bones found today are those of Michael Jansson, who was 21 when he disappeared early on March 9, 2001, but the vehicle identification number of the car found matches the one that was reported missing when Jansson disappeared, police said.",0,6408832.story?track=rss

Jolayne Ward said...

Lynda Jansson called me yesterday. I know its Michael. I've searched for 10 years now and prayed relentlessly. Please pray for a speedy identification. Please pray for money to become available for me to be able to fly from Texas to Chicago for Michael's funeral. Jo Layne Ward. Advocate for missing persons. In loving memory of my once missing grandfather, William Ray Peters

Lisa said...

Simply amazing development.

Turbo said...

I used to work in a building just around the corner from the point where Blackhawk St. dead-ends at the river. The general area is a somewhat desolate, confusing mix of industrial buildings, offices and nightclubs/restaurants. The effects can be multiplied after dark.

The building that once housed Biology Bar is now shuttered. That being said, this is not the first tims a car has entered the river at the end of Blackhawk St. A young woman who a friend of a friend met the same fate last year. I believe the termination of the street at the riverbank was unprotected until the more recent incide with the young woman.

shannon frazier said...

I am a close friend of the Jansson family and have been following Michael's disappearance since Day #1.

Over the years I have been in contact with numerous psychics and Tarot Card readers, especially after the Chicago Police Department pretty much dismissed Michael's case because he had a criminal record.

Which, ironically, is why I need to now locate an officer that, according to my regular Tarot Card reader, Michael had contacted just prior to them finding his remains. From what I was told, Michael reached-out to an officer that was working at a nearby recycling place and attempted to show him where his remains were for all these years. It seems the officers on the boat with the sonar had been looking just day(s) prior, got close, but missed. This officer's name starts with a "B" or a "V" - card reader wasn't able to hone in as they sound very similar.

Does anyone know of recycling places in the area that employ officers? If so, please direct them to me as there is some VERY important information I need to share with "Officer 'B' or 'V'". In the meantime, if anyone might know of this person, please have him email me at:

Jolayne Ward said...

I am calling Lynda later today and will ask her about the questions you have. I do not believe this was an accident. Neither does Lynda. She's still waiting for a positive identification. Having a hard time of it. I will pass your info along. Thanks for caring and helping find Michael when no one else would. Please pray for a quick identification. Jo Layne

shannon frazier said...

Thank you so, so much Jolayne! And for the record, my fast fingers and emotions and excitemtent got the best of me when I submitted my first post. I am not close friends of the Jansson Family on a personal level, but I've befriended them spiritually, rather, ever since I began following Michael's case after first hearing about it in the Reader. My apologies for any miscommunication.

I also had a close friend go missing (due to drug addiction) and the west side of Chicago played an important part of finding the truth about him and the activities and company he kept and why he went missing. Jimmie was ultimately found, but later committed suicide by hanging as his demons and addictions were too much for him to bear. I believe the black guys who were joyriding the Buick hold the key to ultimate closure for the Jansson Family.

I've had trouble accessing my email last night thanks to a bad phone line, but will check my messages today when time permits. Thank you for your response. Together we WILL find the truth...and peace...for Michael.

Shannon Frazier

773guero360 said...

Whats matters most is if his jewelry was recovered.....facts state he had his jewelry when he left home that night and there is video footage of him just before he went missing w his chain/bracelets on......if the jewelry is not w the bones then most certainly foul play was involved.......that would mean he was robbed of it before he was dumped.....and the individuals whom the police traced his friends phone back to.....well now theyve got serious questions to answer...deep down i hope this was not the case......the car was driven off the road on what is the actual goose island......into the water off of the west side end of blackhawk....(directly across the river from the morton salt mill).perrilo dealership has a carlot there at the end of blackhawk and sometimes the street is blocked off w cars......but alwaysat night on the weekends the street is clear and deceiving......literally a straight drop into the water fom about 15 feet......since the accident there last year when the woman died they have put up barriers but nothin back in 01.....and the way the car was discoverd it had to have been goin pretty fast over the bank cuz it was flipped upside down and further from the shore(almost buried entirely in mud i read).....lots of that evidence points to an accident but if the jewelry was not recovered then it opens a whole new scenario......not a soul is ever there at that location at night......never on da weekend.....nothin but industry buildings and at that time in 01 a construction sight.....thats how these accidents happen w no witnesses and if yer not knowin where your drivin, two to three turns away from the nitelife area and yer in a totally different part of town......there are a few recycling/junkyards around there.......the burning question is the jewelry......if his mother is convinced it was no accident then maybe his jewelry was not recovered w the bones.......

Anonymous said...

Greetings, all. Can anyone who personally knows Michael Jansson's mother, Lynda, please direct this inquiry to her? I would like to do a similar blog-style interview with her as I did with the families of 'drown' victims Matthew Ward and Joshua Swalls in late 2012.

(Visit the Killing Killers weblog @ to read these, if interested.)

Kind regards--
Eponymous Rox

Grace Flynn said...

Have the remains been positively identified as Michael? I have been checking online and haven't found anything.

Lisa said...

@Grace Flynn,

I have been monitoring this as well and have not found anything. Will update the post if I hear any news.

Lisa (Blog Administrator)

Grace Flynn said...

Thank you Lisa!