The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Libertyville War Veteran Found Dead

Note: A picture that was included with this story when it was originally posted has been removed.

According to a report by the Libertyville Police Department, the body of missing war veteran Daniel Nerstrom was found by the Metra tracks near Lake Minear on March 13.

Nerstrom went missing on Dec. 1, 2014.  According to the Chicago Tribune, he served in the U.S. army from 2003 through 2009, and he was stationed in Iraq from February 2005 until February 2006.  During his time in Iraq, he served as a scout for the Third Armored unit.

Nerstrom grew up in the Libertyville area, attending middle school at Oak Grove.  He graduated from Oak Grove in 1998, and graduated Libertyville High School in 2002.  Oak Grove history teacher Kathleen Mahoney was very close to Nerstrom, having taught him in seventh and eighth grade.  They also kept in touch after he graduated, and Nerstrom attended the Veterans Day ceremony at Oak Grove many times.

“He was an extremely loving young man,” stated Mrs. Mahoney.  “He was thrilled to enlist in the Army and serve his country.”

When Nerstrom went missing, police searched for him for many days, using bloodhounds and helicopters.  They searched all around the downtown area, as well as the area around Oak Spring Road and Lake Minear.  Unfortunately, they could not find him, and it was considered that he may have left the area.  The news came three months later that a body had been discovered by the tracks, and the body belonged to Nerstrom.

Nerstrom’s disappearance caused Libertyville High School, as well as all middle and elementary schools in the Libertyville area, to go on soft lockdown.  This meant that no one could leave the school during school hours (unless they had an off-campus pass), and visitors could only enter through the main entrance.  Despite the belief that Nerstrom was not dangerous to others, the soft lockdown was used as a precaution to keep students safe.

In a statement made by Nerstrom’s mother, Kim Nerstrom, her son had seen a doctor only weeks before he went missing regarding head injuries obtained during his military service. According to the Chicago Tribune, Nerstrom had been knocked unconscious by bombs eight times during his 12-month deployment in Iraq.  He obtained concussions and visited the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago on Nov. 25 and 26.

Nerstrom also suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is a common brain disorder caused by a traumatic event.  Many United States veterans suffer from PTSD, and according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, around 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffer from the disorder.

Due to the head injuries and his PTSD, Nerstrom was described by the police as being  “distraught and possibly suicidal” when he went missing in December.  According to the police report, the cause of his death is believed to be self-inflicted.

Services for Nerstrom were held on Mar. 15.  According to the Chicago Tribune, more than 100 of his family and friends were in attendance to remember Nerstrom.


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Libertyville War Veteran Found Dead