Thomas Fleming, who has a history of depression, was last seen at 11 a.m. on June 16 as he drove the 2007 Nissan Versa from his mother's home on Country Club Lane in Glendale, police say.
On Tuesday, Sauget police discovered the silver-colored sedan parked next to the river near a coal plant. Witnesses told investigators they had seen the car in the days leading up to Fleming's disappearance, Kirkwood Detective Dave Smith told the Riverfront Times
. The Versa would leave and come back, according to the witnesses. It returned on June 16 — the same day Fleming went missing — and never left.
"It was in normal operating condition," Smith says of the Versa. "No signs of violence, no keys and obviously no signs of him."
Police aren't sure what to make of that. They had originally focused their investigation in the area surrounding Fleming's home and last known location, but the discovery of the abandoned car has expanded the search to the Metro East.
"It's a mystery," Smith says.
In a June 20 bulletin, police noted the hot weather and said Fleming had not taken his diabetes medication with him. None of his family members had heard from him since he left his mom's house.
It's not clear what he might have been doing across the river in Sauget.
"It's an industrial area, so it's not like he was visiting anyone or anything," Smith says.
Fleming is described as 6 feet 3 inches tall and 270 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black and gold striped shirt, blue jeans and white tennis shoes.
Police ask anyone with information to call them at 314-984-6914.
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A 57-year-old Kirkwood man's car has been found in Sauget, but he's still missing.