Moline police searched a wooded area near the Rock River on Monday, hoping to find clues into a man's disappearance more than two decades ago.
Jerry Wolking of Moline was last seen about 11 p.m. Oct. 18, 1990. Police later found his bloodstained, abandoned vehicle at what is now the Quad-City International Airport.
Police suspected then that foul play may have been involved in his disappearance. Wolking was 52 when he disappeared. He would be 74 today.
For a few hours Monday afternoon, trained cadaver dogs sniffed in a wooded area across 60th Street from the Green Valley Sports Complex. Some trees were removed, and police used an excavator to dig for clues to Wolking's disappearance.
The missing man's son, Jerry Wolking Jr., showed up at the site and was escorted into the wooded area by law enforcement officers. He declined comment afterward.
"Nothing found today," Moline police Capt. Trevor Fisk said as he and others walked out of the woods at the end of the day's search.
Fisk said police are expected to return today to continue searching in the same general area, although in a different location. He added that police are at the "mercy" of the cadaver dogs, which are trained to detect human remains.
"We'll be here till we're satisfied with the search," Fisk said.
Wolking was employed at John Deere Harvester Works. Police have said it appeared he was planning to work the next day when he vanished, adding that his alarm clock was set, his lunch was packed and his heart medicine had been laid out.
Wolking's 1988 silver-and-blue Chevrolet Suburban had blood both inside and outside when it was found at the airport in Moline.
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Police were fairly certain that Wolking did not board a plane or bus leaving the Quad-Cities. He was last seen wearing jeans, a plaid shirt, tennis shoes and a gold satin Quad-City Car Club jacket.
Wolking Jr. has said the last time he saw his father was Oct. 16, 1990, two days before his disappearance. There are other reports that he was last seen leaving a friend's house the day he disappeared.
Monday's search was not the first time police have looked in the Green Valley area. Police discovered a green nylon tarp there May 20, 1992, but an investigation linking the tarp's discovery to Wolking's disappearance was unsuccessful.
Police found the tarp in a dry ravine that was filled with water the last time they searched there.
The sports complex, which used to be a park, is near where Wolking lived and the same area where a pair of eyeglass frames similar to his were found a week after he vanished.