It wasn’t unusual for 57-year-old Andy Adler to be out biking or swimming for up to four hours at a time.
But when the Gurnee man hadn’t returned from a bike ride after eight hours on Sunday, June 8, his wife Kay knew something was wrong.
“We contacted police,” she said. “It wasn’t like him not to come back.”
And now, over a week later, the research scientist and accomplished triathlete has still not returned or been located – despite the efforts of many who have been searching for him.
On Father’s Day, a search was organized at the couple’s church, Joy Lutheran, in Gurnee. Twenty-one groups totaling about 140 people covered a 12-mile radius to search for Adler and his blue Carbondale bike.
Additionally, volunteers with dogs and a helicopter have gone over the Des Plaines River Trail, which was the route Adler frequented.
“It’s like he has just completely disappeared,” Kay Adler said.
Scott Matthews, of Green Oaks, a long-time family friend, said that if someone finds Adler’s expensive bicycle, they are welcome to keep it.
“The bike is not what is important,” Matthews said. “What’s important is the location. We just want to know where it was found.”
Adler does not take a cell phone or a wallet with him when he bikes, his wife said, so he would not be able to call for help if he needed it.
But his son, Nick, 19, is confident that his father could handle himself in most situations.
“He’s a stronger athlete than people 10 years younger than him,” Nick Adler said.
Kay and Andy will have been married for 23 years in August. There were no marital problems or other concerns that would have kept him from coming home, she said.
When Kay Adler talks about her husband she goes back and forth from the present tense to the past tense, indicating her conflicting emotions, she said.
“It’s an emotional roller coaster,” Kay Adler said. “Each day that goes by it is more worrisome. I’m trying to cling to hope that he is somewhere that he can get back.”
And if he is somewhere that he can get back, Kay Adler said, she has a message for her husband.
“We want you to come home,” she said. “We love him very much.”
If you have any information on Andy Adler, please call Gurnee Police at 847-599-7000.