Missing Oak Park man Evan Cater found safe after 3 weeks


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By Jean Lotus

Contributing Reporter

Evan Cater, 38, who had been missing for three weeks, is alive and safe in a medical setting, his father Douglas Cater has confirmed.

Cater, who has battled schizophrenia, disappeared from his home in the 500 block of South Elmwood Avenue in Oak Park on Aug. 18, with no money or identification. He reportedly was found the same day he went missing, but health care officials could not determine Cater's identity until last week. His family was notified last Friday.

"He was confused and didn't want to share any information [about his identity with doctors]," said his father.

Medical personnel contacted the Oak Park police when they pieced together Cater's identity. The family had filed a missing persons report, but after two weeks of hearing nothing had asked local media to help.

"The family decided we've got to get the word out," Douglas Cater said. "We had been posting fliers, but the news articles helped. People began calling and expressing their sympathy for our loss. Our family wishes to thank everyone for their concern and to reassure them that he has been found safe."

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Posted: September 13th, 2011 5:52 PM

Just wondering, but does it make any sense for Mr. Cater's family to have him "on file" (police records) and finger-printed for future ID purposes? Yes, I'm "thinking out loud" in ignorance, but I consider this so very important as a family matter and so I'm willing to sound like an ignoramus. So happy that he is now home and safe, but it does appear that something like this might happen again. Good luck and God bless.

epic lulz  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 5:34 PM

As far as the hospital not contacting the police or vice versa, my recollection is that during previous incidents this man was found hundred of miles away in different states, so perhaps there are interstate issues with sharing information that prevented him from being identified earlier? And as I've said before, the difference in response from all levels, the police, the media, and the public, between this case and another recent case is shameful.


Posted: September 13th, 2011 5:24 PM

Just for the record, it doesn't matter if he was being deliberately obstinant or incapable of being otherwise due to health issues. The hospital didn't know who he was or have access to his medical history. The issue that concerns me is the lack of police effort unless you're somebody -important-.


Posted: September 13th, 2011 5:19 PM

uh, Matt; medical personnel contacted the OPPD when they pieced together Cater's identity. There is a difference between knowing and not telling and not knowing at all. Then there is the question of calling off an expensive, or not so expensive, search for someone who isn't missing, which would be the case if the issue were patient confidentiality.

Matt from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 11:21 AM

It is good news that he appears to be back with his loved ones and doing well. Rich and Judy, I think there is a difference between a patient who declines to identify themselves and an unknown person such as amnesia patient or an unconscious person with no ID on them. Hospitals are required to respect the wishes and privacy of their patients.

Glad that he's home safe from OP  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 6:03 AM

I second epic lulz comment. Thanks.

judy humowiecki from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2011 2:32 PM

I agree with Rich that I would have expected a medical facility to automatically contact the police if they have an unidentified patient. I'm somewhat perplexed about how this could have taken so long if the family filed a missing persons report in O.P. Seems like the family should not have had to search for this man through the media if proper procedures were in place.

RichF from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2011 2:16 PM

Shouldn't a medical facility report to the police when they have an unknown patient?


Posted: September 12th, 2011 2:03 PM

First, I am extremely happy to hear this gentleman, Evan, is safe and under care. Second, given the gentleman's health history, shouldn't spreading his picture and information to care facilities have been standard operating procedure for the OPPD?

Jg Morales  

Posted: September 12th, 2011 1:40 PM

Glad to hear he was found alive and well!

epic lulz  

Posted: September 12th, 2011 1:40 PM

I'm glad to see that he was found safe. I'm also glad that the family was open and honest about the situation.

val camilletti from oak park il  

Posted: September 12th, 2011 1:37 PM

Wonderful news - so glad to hear that he is safe and is being cared for.

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