A mentally ill man leaves home and never returns.
Jim Kimball had grown up in Oak Park, Illinois, the sixth child in a large and loving family. According to his sister, Sharon Tomecek, Jim was always shy:
But all of that changed on August 16, 1982. Jim was just thirteen when his father suddenly died of a heart attack. As the family gathered to say goodbye, only Jim appeared unaffected by the tragic loss. He was very quiet, refused to cry and showed little, if any, emotion. It was the first overt sign that something was wrong, terribly wrong. Barely noticed in the midst of the family’s grief, was the fact that a time bomb was ticking away inside of Jim Kimball… a time bomb that would explode almost three years, to the day, after his father’s death.
As teenagers, Jim and his brothers formed their own garage band. Jim played the drums. According to his brother Tom, he first noticed something was wrong with Jim during a jam session shortly after their father’s death:
Jim was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder–a mental disturbance characterized by unusual thoughts and severe mood swings. Jim required medication to control his condition. The next eight years were marked by a series of hospitalizations, relapses and recoveries. Nevertheless, Jim managed to graduate from high school and hold a few jobs. Eventually, he moved into a halfway house, approximately ten miles from home.
Everything seemed normal until Easter weekend, 1993. According to his mother, Francine, Jim showed up at her house earlier than expected that day:
But the next day, the tranquil atmosphere was shattered. According to his brother, Tom, Jim became frustrated with the family’s new stereo system:
Jim had vanished. The Kimballs immediately launched a frantic search of the neighborhood. The family made phone calls, searched homeless shelters, and distributed “missing person” flyers all across the country. But eleven months went by with no sign of Jim. Then, a promising lead came in March of 1994. Just outside of South Bend, Indiana, ninety miles from the Kimball’s home in Oak Park, Indiana State Trooper Todd LaBonne found Jim lying on the ground:
But with nothing to hold him on, Officer LaBonne let Jim go. It would be the last time anyone saw Jim Kimball alive.
Jim’s family is still searching for him and they are worried that, without medication, he will never find his way home. Jim Kimball is 5’7″ tall and weighs 165 pounds. He has green eyes and his brown hair may still be long and parted in the middle.