Monday, November 06, 2017

Mystery Monday: Lee Cutler

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...



When a young person disappears, the pain that person's parents suffer can be heartbreaking. Such is the case with Lee Cutler, who disappeared on October 20, 2007. His mother has never stopped searching for answers.



Lee Cutler's mother

Lee Sterling Cutler was a high school senior at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois. On the evening before his disappearance, he had dinner with friends and his mom in celebration of a friend's 18th birthday. Afterward, he asked his mom if he could sleep over at a friend's house. His goodbye hug was, as his mom said, "Longer than usual."


Lee Cutler

The next morning, Lee was scheduled to work his job at the mall. When his mother didn't hear from him, she stopped by his store to see him. The manager said he never showed up for work.



Friends initially weren't concerned, since Lee was known to go off on his own to think and meditate. But the next day, his locked car was found approximately 200 miles from his home at a rest stop. Lee loved hiking and camping and had visited this location before.


Where Lee's car was found. Source: Disappeared, Discovery I.D.

In the days that followed, it came out that he'd suffered from anxiety and had been suicidal in the past. The night before his disappearance, he sent text messages stating that his thoughts of suicide were resurfacing.



Local police began a search of the area where Lee's car was found. They soon discovered a makeshift campsite, filled with belongings that were identified as Lee's. There was a box of cold medicine, some Advil P.M., and letters to his parents and girlfriend. Although the notes didn't specifically mention suicide, the letter to his mom stated, "finally, I'll get to sleep." He apologized for being a coward. The letter was tucked into a paperback copy of Into the Wild, a book about a man who sought adventure in the wilderness and eventually died.


Campsite. Source: Disappeared on Discovery I.D.

Lee's body was never found, but his wallet and car keys were in the nearby river. His family and friends believe he still might be missing and authorities think if he was in that immediate area, they would have found him.



Do you believe Lee committed suicide? Or could he still be out there somewhere? Was it murder?

23 comments:

  1. How sad. So many kids suffer from anxiety these days. Makes you wonder why.
    He could have wandered into the forest and eventually died or killed himself. If it's a big area, that's a lot of ground that probably hasn't been explored.

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    1. Yeah, a case like this is tough unless you know for 100% sure the search was done properly--especially if he ended up in the water and the current took him elsewhere.

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  2. This is so sad. And like Alex said, so many kids experience these feelings. Many of my daughter's friends suffer with serious mental health issues. It really sounds like he planned suicide and maybe did it deeper in the woods, though weird that he was never found. My heart goes out to his mom.

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    1. That is one thing that often rules suicide out--with suicide, there should be a body. But John Glasgow (who I covered here before) was eventually found...he just was in a remote area that hadn't been searched.

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  3. Oh...this sounds like he was adamant in wanting to commit suicide. He hugged his mom longer than norm, he went to a favourite place of his, he said goodbye to friends. I am thinking they must have dredged to lake? I wonder...did he give away something that was close to him to his friends? That’s another indication. Anyway, very, very sad and he is just one of many.

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    1. I feel bad for his mom, but any time a loved one says, "I just don't think it was suicide," you have to consider that they're going to hold out hope as long as there's even a one percent chance. Especially a mom.

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  4. Alex is right--so many people suffer from anxiety and not just kids. I'm learning a lot about this with my mental health groups. I, too, now wonder if he might have committed suicide.

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    1. I know now there are so many more resources than there were even ten years ago. I just hope everyone gets the help and support they can because going through that alone would be difficult for anyone.

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  5. Yea! Glad Mystery Monday is back. I believe he committed suicide. Today's world is a tough place to live, especially for kids. When you are young and depressed you don't have the experience to realize that things will get better. You think you will always feel like this.

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    1. I think that's the age when these issues start to manifest, too, from what I've learned from my true crime obsession!

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  6. Sad that our young people feel driven to suicide. No, I think he`s gone. I feel for his mom.

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  7. It sounds like he committed suicide. It's so sad when young people feel they have no hope. Not too long ago I read and article (forget where) that said suicides among teen girls had risen. What is the answer. I feel for his mother. That must be difficult to deal with.

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  8. Sadly, it does sound like he may have gone out into the wilderness and died. I'm sure his mother would hold out hope until a body is found, but it does seem that might be what they are waiting for. Cryptic letters that could be taken as suicide notes, but many teenagers write generally apologetic letters at times. When there is not closure you do hope for the best.

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  9. Sadly, it does sound like a suicide. But as a parent, I couldn't stop looking or give up hope until a body or remains were found. How sad.

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  10. Sounds like suicide to me.

    Love,
    Janie

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  11. IDK about this one. I agree with everyone else that many teens have suicidal tendencies. But without a body being found I'm not totally convinced it was suicide. If he was murdered, the murderer might have buried his body and unlikely to be discovered. Either way, it's a tragedy.

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  12. Such a sad story and a problem that unfortunately seems to be growing. Sounds he may have gone into the river and the current taken his body away from the area.

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  13. Hi Stephanie ... so desperate. I don't think he was murdered - except perhaps as an accident ... he could have wandered off as per his book - and then actually died out in the bush ... or decided on suicide - yet he seemed fairly kind ... so I'd have thought he'd have thought about his parents and left another note if it was suicide ... difficult - I hope it can be resolved sometime. So sad - Hilary

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  14. I feel so bad for the parents. It's truly a sad story :(

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  15. So sad!!! Truly a very sad story!

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  17. Maybe he made it look like a suicide so he could run away and not get found.

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  18. I kinda do, but maybe he didn't die so much as decide to resurrect himself and become something new. Either way, at least he left behind what was getting him down.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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