Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Missing Tuesday - Jason Jolkowski

I missed a few days blogging - I usually blog on my lunch hour at work, and this weekend I was off for four days.  So no blog since last Thursday.  It's Tuesday, when I spotlight a missing person.  There are so many thousands of missing persons in the U.S. and Canada, and some have been missing for decades.  Some cases receive more publicity, especially on programs like "Disappeared" and "Unsolved Mysteries."  My heart goes out to families who have missing loved ones.  While it is terrible to have a loved one die, it must be devastating not to know what happened to a family member.

Today's missing person is Jason Jolkowski.  Jason disappeared from his family’s home in Omaha, NE.  He has been missing since June 13, 2001, without any clues to his disappearance or current whereabouts.

Also known as JJ, Jason was a shy young man, very close to his family; one of their neighbors said he was trusting and not street smart.  He had some learning disabilities in the areas of speech and language.  The bullies at his school made fun of him, and some people thought he was retarded, while he was actually of above average intelligence.  He did not participate in many social activities, and divided his time between work, home, and school.  In addition to his restaurant job, Jason also had a part-time job as a radio announcer at a local college radio station. He was looking forward to starting a new job in a few days.  He loved to walk, was a big sports fan, and helped others whenever he could.

Jason attended community college part-time and worked at a local restaurant.  Even though it was supposed to be Jason’s day off, his boss called him that morning and asked him to fill in at work.  Jason’s car was in the shop, so his boss arranged for him to catch a ride with a co-worker.  He was to meet the co-worker at Benson High School, about a mile from his home.

He was last seen in front of his house by his 12 year old brother and at least one neighbor around 10:45 a.m., bringing in empty trash receptacles (it was trash pick-up day), and then walking off in the direction of Benson High School carrying his red work shirt.  Jason never arrived at the high school.  His co-worker called the Jolkowski house between 11:15-11:30 to see if Jason was still at home, since he hadn’t met her at the high school.

Jason's family suspects foul play was involved in Jason's disappearance.  Police say there is no evidence of foul play; there is also no evidence that Jason ran away.  They have absolutely no clues as to what happened to Jason.  He is a responsible young man, and his friends say he was not the kind of person to run away from problems.  His family is certain that he would have contacted them at some point.  He took no personal items with him; his cell phone and bank account have not been used since the day he disappeared.  His last paycheck was never cashed (he probably didn’t have more than $60 on him), and he never picked up his car at the repair shop.  His family and friends do not believe that Jason used drugs or alcohol.

Following his disappearance, Jason’s family founded Project Jason (http://www.projectjason.org/) to assist the families of other missing persons by tracking missing persons and distributing flyers.  They lobbied the Nebraska state legislature to establish a statewide missing persons DB.  In 2010, Jason’s mother Kelly was named the Volunteer for Victims honoree by the U.S. Justice Department.

Jason disappeared without a trace, but someone must know something about what happened to him.  At the time of his disappearance, Jason was 19 years old - today, he would be 30 years old.  He is Caucasian, with brown hair and brown eyes.  He is 6’1” tall and has a slim build, weighing around 165 lbs. He was wearing black pants and black shoes, a blue Chicago Cubs cap, and a white Cubs or Sammy Sosa t-shirt. If you have any information about Jason, please call the Omaha PD, 1-402-444-5657.

Tomorrow:  Historical Wednesday

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