Seven-year-old Dalton Mesarchik’s disappearance on March 26, 2003, shook Streator to its core.
Thursday, March 26, marked the 17th anniversary of Mesarchik’s murder, which remains to be solved.
Mesarchik was last seen at 7:15 p.m. that day, waiting in his front yard for a church van to take him to Bible study. The van never showed up and a fisherman found his body fully clothed, floating down the Vermilion River near the Vermillion Boat Club. Police discovered the murder weapon, a Benchtop Pro 3-pound hammer from K-Mart, in a dumpster outside the PNA Hall in Streator.
His murder has since been a point of mystery for many, not just in the Streator community, but nationwide: his mother, Michelle and sister Deana appeared on the Steve Wilkos Show in June 2016 and the case has also been highlighted on popular YouTube personality LordanARTS channel with over 21,000 views.
Illinois State Police issued a news release Thursday stating they are still investigating the case.
“This case has touched the lives of many of us, past and present. The Illinois State Police and our law enforcement partners are committed to solving this heinous crime, for Dalton, his family, his friends and his community,” said ISP DCI Zone 5 Commander Captain Jason Henderson. “We ask those with information, even if you think it is unimportant or it has previously been reported, to contact the Illinois State Police.”
ISP is working with the Streator Police Department, Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, Livingston County Coroner’s Office, FBI and the La Salle and LIvingston County State’s Attorney’s offices to attempt to solve this case; approximately 2,000 leads have been opened and investigated, many of which have led to follow-up assignments, according to the Thursday news release.
ISP said there have been around 500 evidentiary exhibits that have been collected in this investigation.
The Illinois State Police said there is a $50,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the crime. Anyone with information can call the Streator Police Department or the Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation at 815-844-1500 ext. 2321 (tip line) or 217-278-5004 (tip line), or via email @firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook at Illinois State Police or on Twitter @ILStatePolice.