MISSING FULTON COUNTY IL FAMILY SEARCHING IN LAS VEGAS
By Audrey Wise
November 13, 2014Updated Nov 14, 2014 at 10:07 AM CST
LEWISTOWN, Ill. -- There are more clues in the mystery of a missing man from Central Illinois. Investigators and family have followed his trail all the way to Las Vegas.
Derick Higgins, now 23-years-old, went missing from Smithfield in March of 2013.
Higgins left his mother's house one day and he never showed up for work. His family has not seen or heard from him since.
He was last positively seen at a bank in Canton on March 21 of last year. His debit card was used to buy gas in Creve Coeur later that morning.
Three days later his car was found abandoned in Florida after a minor crash. His wallet and money were left in the car.
Then, more than a year later, on April 22, he was booked by police in Las Vegas.
The Sheriff's Office has worked this as a missing person's case. Occasionally they run Higgins' information.
Sheriff Jeff Standard says on October 27, they got a hit.
Sheriff Standard is certain the person booked in April was Derick Higgins.
"We finally got the fingerprint match from our state police, we took their fingerprints over, matched with the fingerprints we had and it showed a 100 percent match," he said.
The family was also shown his booking photo taken in April when he was charged with vagrancy. After seeing the photo, the family is sure it's him.
He was booked under the alias Adam Wilson, but gave his date of birth to match Higgins'. Police have no known connection to that name. However, that same name and date of birth was used when Las Vegas police made contact with him again in June.
The Fulton County Sheriff's office and the family has had this information for several weeks before it was made public.
That's because the family wanted to head to Nevada and have some time to look for him.
Higgins' father said they have been combing the streets and homeless shelters in the search for their loved one.
"We want him to know that we love him. No matter why he is out here. If he wants to come home he's welcome. If he doesn't want to come home, what can we do to help?," said Tim Higgins.
Higgins' father said they are following all leads while they are out there and have a private investigator helping out. They plan to stay in the area through Saturday.
The Fulton County Sheriff said he will keep Higgins listed as missing and endangered until he is located and his well-being is verified.
However, he says it is not against the law for an adult to just up and leave if they want to.
His family still has hope.
"We miss you. Derick I want to hug you again. I want to hold you. I want to go fishing with you Derick. I want to take you hunting again. I just want you to show up," said David Bruketta, Higgins' grandfather.
THIS FAMILY HAS NOT ASKED FOR ANY MONETARY HELP IN FUNDING THEIR SEARCH. THEY ARE VERY CLOSE TO FINDING DERICK. YOUR DONATIONS CAN HELP THEIR SEARCH CONTINUE. PLEASE & THANK YOU!
FOR VIDEO FOOTAGE...PLEASE GOOGLE DERICK HIGGINS. THANK YOU!!