3-year investigation into Bradley Olsen’s disappearance continues
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARKâ€”A judge this week ordered that a death certificate be issued for Bradley P. Olsen of Maple Park, a decision his mother, Susan, has hoped for since last fall. However, she and the police will not give up looking for her adult son, who has been missing for more than three years.
Susan Olsen in October 2009 asked the DeKalb County Circuit Court to declare Bradley deceased. She said the reason for her request was so that her son’s young daughter would be able to receive his social security benefits.
After several court proceedings since then, Judge Kurt P. Klein issued an order of the presumptive death of Bradley Olsen on March 31 and the issuance of a death certificate.
Under state statute, a missing person typically is presumed alive until seven years have passed since the individual’s disappearance. Susan Olsen said courts sometimes have waived that requirement in the past, and she is glad Judge Klein granted the exception for her son.
â€œThe Illinois rule of seven years wasn’t going to serve her (Bradley’s daughter) as a young child,â€ Olsen said. â€œIt was just something that needed to be done now, to take care of her present needs, not four years from now,â€ Olsen said.â€
Bradley Olsen disappeared Jan. 20, 2007, after friends left him at Bar One on West Lincoln Highway in DeKalb at about 2:30 a.m.
Since then, the DeKalb Police Department and the DeKalb County sheriff’s office have been investigating the case, pursuing leads offered by the public and interviewing Olsen’s acquaintances, associates, and friends of friends, some of whom are not â€œsociety’s best,â€ DeKalb Police Lt. Gary Spangler said.
Spangler said tips are still coming in periodically and the investigation continues.
â€œIt is still an open case,â€ Spangler said. â€œThe (death certificate) doesn’t change anything as far as we (the police) are concerned. This was a civil case pursued by the family.â€
Olsen said she has communicated regularly with police about the investigation, and that she appreciates how many tips they have gotten.
In recent months, she has helped comb various local areas with a group that uses dogs trained to find cadavers. She said even after the death certificate is issued, the family will not give up on their quest for closure.
â€œThis is not ending. We’re going to continue pursuing this,â€ Olsen said.
On Easter Sunday, Bradley’s 30th birthday, the Rev. Mark Meyer offered a prayer for him during the church service at Grace United Methodist Church in Maple Park, which the Olsen family attends.
The Olsens will not hold a funeral or memorial service unless they find Bradley’s remains, Susan Olsen said.