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Left On Foot

On August 28, 1977, fourteen-year-old Curtis Chandler left his home on Dundee Road in Lockport, Illinois alongside 47-year-old Owen Clark. It is unclear how Owen and Curtis knew each other though Clark’s girlfriend lived across the street from where Curtis lived. Curtis, called Corky by his family, planned to spend the night across the street at Clark’s girlfriend’s home and told his mother that he and Clark planned to go driving. Curtis’s mother, however, noted that they left on foot. Curtis and Clark arrived at Clark’s girlfriend’s house, which she shared with her four children but, left later that evening saying they were going to borrow her car for a ride. However, the girlfriend observed both leaving the house on foot and told authorities that neither drove the car.

Early the next morning at 4:30 AM, Owen Clark walked alone into the local fire station with burns covering 70% of his body. Clark later informed authorities that he had been walking along Thornton Avenue when he was approached by a group of four young men in a car who offered him a ride. Clark turned them down but, the men exited the car, robbed him of $420, and doused him in flammable fluid before lighting it and driving off. Clark rolled in the grass to extinguish the flames then made his way to the fire station.

Clark told authorities that he had last seen Curtis at 11:00 PM. He said he and Curtis had driven to a store to pick up items at a store near Thornton Ave and Illinois Highway 7. Curtis and Clark got into an argument at the store so Clark decided to go on a walk to cool off, where he was accosted by the men. Curtis had driven his girlfriend’s car back to the house. Authorities found the car at the girlfriend’s house with the keys still in the ignition.

Authorities suspect foul play in Curtis’s case and Clark was named as a suspect, however, he is now deceased and was never charged in relation to Curtis’s case. Curtis was 14 years old when he disappeared and had brown hair and blue eyes. Curtis is white and has an enlarged left ear. He has a scar on the left side of his head that is concealed by his hair and a scar on his abdomen from an appendectomy. He was last seen wearing a dark blue t-shirt, jean shorts, and red sneakers. He stood at 5’2 and weighed 134 pounds. If he were alive today, Curtis would be 61 years old.

About Fehmeeda Farid Khan

A freelancer, blogger, content writer, translator, tour consultant, proofreader, environmentalist, social mobilizer, poetess and novelist. As a physically challenged person, she extends advocacy on disability related issues. She's masters in Economics and Linguistics along with B.Ed.

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