On April 29, 1995, Dalton Alexander Mesarchik was born to George E. Scott and Michelle Lee Mesarchik.

Dalton, who was seven years old at the time, started first grade at Centennial School in Streator, Illinois, a small town near LaSalle and Livingston, in the spring of 2003. Dalton was a resident of LaSalle County.

Dalton enjoyed riding his bike, drawing, going to school, and collecting items with Harley Davidson logos.

He hoped to one day own his own Harley.

Dalton went missing from his home in the 400 block of Morrel Street on March 26, 2003, while waiting for the First Church of Nazarene van to pick him up and take him to a church youth program.

Dalton wasn’t a regular at church or youth group. He’d only been there two or three times since August 2002.

According to early reports, Dalton was waiting for the van on his front porch at 7:15 p.m., but the van never arrived.

When his parents called the church, they discovered that the program had been canceled, but no one had notified them.

The van driver couldn’t make it because he had to travel out of state to see a sick relative. If the van was unable to pick up the children, the church would usually call and instruct the parents to bring their children to church. This is not the case in this instance.

Dalton’s mother called the police at 8:34 p.m. to report him missing.

The following morning, Streator police dispatched bloodhounds to the scene. From the porch to the middle of the street, the dogs tracked Dalton’s scent. This led the police to believe that he had either driven himself or had been forced to do so. They suspected that whoever took Dalton was driving a van similar to the church van at the time.

Five hundred people gathered at city hall to assist in the search for Dalton. The Illinois State Police, the FBI, and the sheriff’s offices in LaSalle and Livingston counties were also involved in the search.

The state police Sgt. Bill Heinrich divided the groups into 10 person teams and dispersed them throughout Streator. According to the Pantagraph, boats and horses were brought in as part of the search.

The search was called off at 11:33 a.m. on Thursday, March 27, 2003. Dalton’s fully dressed body was discovered floating in the Vermillion River, two miles south of Streator in Livingston County, by a fisherman. The body was discovered near the Vermillion Boat Club.

Police later discovered that Dalton had been hit over the head with a small Benchtop Pro hammer that was only available at Kmart and weighed 3 pounds. The blood on the handle was Dalton’s. According to some reports, his hands and feet were bound, but the police did not confirm this.

Investigators focused their efforts on following up on nearly 70 leads.

The police spoke with friends, family, and sex offenders in the area. Dalton’s parents could not have done it. According to a 2015 report, they all passed polygraph tests.

The investigators went around the neighborhood and checked the roads.

“Search and rescue teams from the Department of Natural Resources Police and the Pontiac Fire Department worked for several hours to look for Dalton’s body in the river,” according to the Pantagraph. The police stated that they were searching for clues in the river.

Despite the fact that many people searched for Dalton Mesarchik’s ki*ller, they were never found. Police had an unknown suspect not long after the mur*der, but it was another de*ad end.

On April 1, 2003, Dalton was laid to rest in Streator’s Hillcrest Memorial Park. A biker’s funeral procession was held for the boy who loved Harley Davidson motorcycles and was nicknamed “Little Dude” by local bikers.

There have been numerous rumors circulated since Dalton’s death. Deana Mesarchik, Dalton’s sister, was accused of mu*rdering him. Deana, then 25, appeared on a cable talk show in 2015 and took and passed a lie detector test. Michelle Mesarchick stated that they did not want Deana’s involvement to be confirmed.

If you have any information about Dalton’s mur*der, please contact the Illinois State Police – Dalton Mesarchik Task Force at (815) 844-1500 (ext. 2321) or daltonm@isp.state.il.us.

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