Galesburg man goes missing: Wife says he left with two guns, worried about his mental state

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GALESBURG, Ill. (WMBD) — Gone for nearly two days.

Stephanie Zimmerman is worried about her husband, Bob Zimmerman, saying he left their home on S. Seminary St. in Galesburg, and hasn’t been reached since.

“Yesterday (Tuesday), he came from work, he got home a little bit later than usual.  He stopped at one of the parts stores and got some stuff to clean the bugs off the front end of his work car.  We washed his work car together, he was drinking a beer, he got along fine and it just escalated.  No fight, but I could just tell something was eating at him.  His mood was just off a little bit.  The last time I had spoken to him was 9:30,” Stephanie said.

“He said he was going to the store.  He came in a second time and left and I figured he was going to the bar or something,” Stephanie said. “I texted him at 11:30, he texted me back.  Different times, a few minutes apart. Last time I physically saw him was at 2:00 a.m. when he came home, turned the fan on, got in the safe, got the guns and I haven’t heard from him since.”

Stephanie said she’s trying to cling to hope her husband of 11 years is still alive. But that hope is dwindling.

“I have a gut feeling that he’s not with me. I don’t know why, but I just feel like he’s not here anymore,” Stephanie said, holding back tears. “It’s not normal for him to not be here.”

“I never expected for him to just vanish. Just nothing, nothing,” she said.

Stephanie said Bob has dealt were depression, especially the last few months.

“In December, his dad called me and told me about his cancer, he was going through chemo.  He wanted to come live with us.  I wish he would’ve come sooner so Bob could have had a relationship with his dad longer,” Stephanie said.

A few months went by, and Bob and Stephanie both mourned the death of Stephanie’s mom.

“I lost my mom on February 1st, my mom had terminal cancer,” she said.

She stated Bob attempted to take his own life on March 4, but received treatment, coming back happier and healthier.

But then things changed.

“In the middle of May, we went to Nebraska and picked his dad up,” Stephanie said. “I took care of him, I put him on hospice, brought him in my home, and took care of him.  He lived with us for 18 days before he passed.”

“Bob had a hard time with his dad’s death. Because he hadn’t had a relationship with his dad. He hadn’t seen his dad in over 21 years.  He had never had a relationship with him,” Stephanie said.

“I lost my mom on February 1st, my mom had terminal cancer. On March the 4th, he tried to take his life in my garage.  He was admitted for a little over a week, he got out on March the 13th.  He just seemed happy and a better person,” Stephanie said.

“He was clean for almost four months. I would say the week before this 4th of July he relapsed and started drinking again,” Stephanie said. My husband had been an alcoholic for 21 years.  He never told me about being depressed.  He relapsed, just stress.  He quit taking his anti-depressants and started falling into that same category.”

WMBD spoke with Galesburg Police Chief Russ Idle who said they’re actively searching for Bob.

“There’s certainly a safety concern for himself, we don’t have any information to believe he would have any other intention or inclination to harm anyone else. But at this point we’re worried about him,” Chief Idle said.  “He went missing on Tuesday.  He was reported missing by his son and his wife, he’s in his work truck.  Apparently he’s been somewhat despondent and they’re concerned about him.  We are actively searching for him and hoping to bring him home safely.”

The work truck Chief Idle is referencing is a white 2015 Chevy Impala owned by Jim Hawk Trailers in Davenport. The Impala has Iowa plates.

Chief Idle said Bob’s phone was pinged early Tuesday morning in the Canton area.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department told WMBD via email that his phone was pinged near two cemeteries, but he was unable to be found.

Stephanie said it was then pinged again near Lake Bracken hours later.

Other than the two phone pings on Tuesday, Stephanie stated Bob has been untraceable.

“No phone activity.  No bank, no debit card activity.  I don’t know if he had cash, he wasn’t the one to carry cash.  So if he’s out there, how’s he eating?” Stephanie asked. “It’s not normal for him to take off with handguns that were his father’s.  He has no FOID card, they aren’t registered under either one of us.  They’re registered in his dad’s name.  He has things at home he wouldn’t leave on a daily basis.  He wears contacts.”

Stephanie said he liked to hangout at Harley’s Pub and The Corral in Galesburg, but says she has no idea where he could have gone.

“Being with somebody for 21 years you’d think you would know where they would go, but I don’t.  His circle was really small.  A lot of times it was him and I and my two kids that are at home with us.  We didn’t have a lot of company that’d come over.  He just would kind of venture off to a bar, mingle there.  He didn’t have a lot of places he would go,” Stephanie said.

Stephanie has a very clear message for Bob.

“I just need to let him know that I love him very much and I just want him to come home,” Stephanie said.

If you have any information on where Bob might be, you’re asked to call the Galesburg Police Department at 309-343-9151.

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