For the second time in less than a year, a former Naperville Central High School student has become the focus of an intensive, missing-person search.
Authorities in South Dakota on Friday continued to look for Jordan M. Baznik, who has been missing for more than a week.
His disappearance has parallels to the case of Bryce D. Laspisa, a 2012 graduate of Naperville Central, who vanished last August in California.
Baznik, 23, has been missing since Aug. 6, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Patty Garland said Friday. He was last seen late that evening in Keystone, S.D., located in the Black Hills in the shadow of Mount Rushmore, and about 930 miles north and west of Naperville.
Police in nearby Custer County, S.D., on Tuesday located an abandoned red, 2014 Mazda 5 belonging to Baznik, Garland said in a prepared statement. “A witness reported seeing the vehicle (Aug. 8) in Custer County and alerted authorities, after viewing a missing person alert” on the Pennington County sheriff’s Facebook page, she said.
Members of the Custer County Search and Rescue unit have been sent to an area near Camp Remington Road in that county, “to assist local authorities with the search” for Baznik, Garland said.
Baznik reportedly lives in the Olympic Terrace area of far west-central Naperville. It was not known whether he might be in distress or was merely visiting South Dakota without having notified his family.
A telephone message left Friday evening at a relative’s home was not immediately returned.
KEVN-TV in Rapid City, S.D., on Friday reported searchers had found the place where Baznik recently made camp.
Quoting Custer County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Stephen McMillan, the station reported Baznik’s identification and some of his clothing were found there. The area is not far from the Iron Creek Centennial Trailhead, where Baznik’s Mazda was found.
McMillan told the station authorities planned to bring a helicopter with a special heat sensing camera to the area Friday afternoon, as Baznik is believed to still be there.
Baznik is white, approximately 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 190 lbs. He has blue eyes and curly, medium-length blond hair, and was last seen wearing a long-sleeved, red flannel shirt and brown cargo shorts.
Those with information about the case are asked to call Investigator Trent Nelson, at 605-394-6115.
Laspisa, 20, disappeared on Aug. 30, 2013, after apparently crashing his sport utility vehicle in a ravine in Los Angeles County, Calif. His tan, 2003 Toyota Highlander was found lying on its side in Castaic, Calif., with blood on it.
He and his family moved to California following his graduation from Naperville Central. He last lived in Roseville in northern California and was attending college, while his parents lived in Orange County, in the southern part of the state.
Relatives and friends feared the worst when a burned body was discovered not far from the wreckage of Laspisa’s SUV. The body proved to be that of a man caught up in crimes near Los Angeles.
Friends have described Laspisa as a normal young man whose disappearance was out of character for him.
Like Baznik, Laspisa has not been seen or heard from since he vanished.Tags: Jordan M. Baznik