Dermot Faulkner Kelly
Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: January 30, 1972 from LaSalle, La Salle County, Illinois
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: July 27, 1955
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
Weight: 150 lbs (68 kg)
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Blue
Clothing: A black-and-white jacket and blue-jeans.
Jewelry: An Accutron watch.
Case Number: M04C1091
Details of Disappearance
Dermot walked out of his home on on Point Lookout on January 30, 1972 and has not been seen or heard from since. He carried a a .22-caliber rifle, and told his parents he was going to go target shooting. Dermot headed east along the river. After Dermot had not returned by 3 p.m., his parents called police. They said they were worried because Dermot had been despondent.
Dermot's jacket and boots were found on an icy bank of the Vermilion where that river fed into the Illinois River. A set of bare foot prints in the snow led from the bank 20 feet out onto the partially frozen river. There were no return prints. An impression of a rifle was also present in the snow. Within the next few days, snowmobiles, motorcycles and two aircraft were used in the search, which took in Starved Rock State Park and the nearby Lehigh Cement quarry. Divers were also brought in.
A rifle believed to have been Dermot's was found just below the ice in the river. His gun had been mounted with a telescopic sight and this rifle did not have one, but it was presumed the scope had detached in the water.
By the end of the week, a barge passed on the Illinois River, disturbing the ice and complicating the search. This and the continuing frigid temperatures prompted searchers to call off their efforts. Dermot was never found.
In October 1973, the wife of the Kelly family doctor reported she believed she had seen Dermot in Chicago, but had not been able to approach and confirm it was him.
In 1992, Dermot's father went to court and had him declared legally dead.
Dermot was a junior at the then all boys St. Bede Academy between Peru and Spring Valley. He was in class the Friday before, but had missed several weeks in the fall, while he was receiving medical treatment in the Chicago area.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
La Salle County Sheriff's Office
My Web Times