Vigil held after search for missing Zion Army veteran called off

ZION, Ill. — Friends and family members of 28-year-old Cory Rhinehart, who has been missing since Friday, held a vigil for him after their search was called off.

The vigil was held along Lake Michigan Thursday evening. Rhinehart's mother spent the day looking for any sign of him.

"There is no parent in the world that should have to ever have to walk a shoreline looking for their kid," Andrea Holmes, Rhinehart's mother, said.

Friends family were planning to conduct a search for Rhinehart Thursday, however, the search was called off after a suggestion from police that they postpone the search for now.

“I did receive a call from someone that I know in the Zion Police Department requesting that I do not, or that I at least push back the search,” Deidra Collins, a family friend, said. “He did let me know that it is completely up to me if I wanted to continue it, however due to some new discoveries, he did not want to contaminate any potential evidence or anything that could potentially hinder any investigatory work that they’re currently doing.”

The Zion police chief said they got a 911 call from Rhinehart Friday night around 8 p.m. It was a hang up call, but police pinged the phone number and went to the area where the call came from.

Police visited an apartment on the 2100 block of  Gabriel Avenue Friday evening, where they believe the call originated from.

Blood was found on the door, walls and floor, but no one was around that evening. The chief said it was definitely human blood, but they are unsure from where or who it came from. Police said the blood was collected and sent to a crime lab.

The 28-year-old’s home was a few blocks away, where he lived with his twin sister.

Rhinehart's siblings, Ashley Rhinehart and Jahda Berry, said no one has heard from him or seen him since Friday. Family members and friends were trying to spread the word about his disappearance, and asked for the public's help earlier this week.

Rhinehart’s loved ones filed a missing person’s report Monday. They know who lives at the apartment, but were not familiar with that person.

Rhinehart, an Army veteran, worked as a dietary aid at a nursing home. His family said this is all very out of character.

“He would never leave his family and not let us know where he’s at,” Berry said.

Cory Rhinehart and Ashley Rhinehart are twins.

“Wherever you are I hope you are safe. I cant be without you. You're my other half. You're my backbone, my strength, my everything. Without you, I'm nothing. Wherever you are, please come home, please,” Ashley Rhinehart said.

The police chief has asked the crime lab to expedite the identification of the blood to see if it's a match to Rhinehart.

Relatives said that while they have canceled their search, they have not given up hope.

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