Illinois authorities positively have identified the remains of a Midway man who went missing three years ago.
Retired soldier Ray Acklin, 43, disappeared April 25, 2008, when he was vacationing with his wife aboard a casino boat in East Chicago, Ind.
Acklin’s remains were found April 1, 2009, on the outskirts of Sun River Terrace, a village in Kankakee County, Ill., about 50-60 miles from the Indiana resort where he reportedly was last seen alive, according to Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ken McCabe.
Acklin’s identity recently was confirmed through DNA testing, McCabe said. An autopsy showed the death “was likely homicide,” the chief deputy said. McCabe said the case is under investigation and detectives will speak to Acklin’s family members.
Transportation specialist Larry Bostick, who briefly worked with Acklin at Hunter Army Airfield, told the Courier he heard about the positive identification last week from Acklin’s sister. He said authorities had contacted Acklin’s relatives July 12.
Bostick said he remembered Acklin as a friendly, helpful man who had offered to show him a condo for rent when he first moved to Coastal Georgia from Germany. Acklin already had planned to go on vacation two weeks after Bostick began his new job in Savannah, Bostick explained. Bostick said he last saw his friend when he dropped Acklin off at an auto dealership repair shop to pick up his car. Acklin had wanted to be sure his vehicle was running well before his trip, Bostick said.
The Courier initially reported Acklin and his wife, Djamila Acklin, were in the East Chicago, Ind., area for an April 25, 2008, court hearing regarding property they owned there. After court, the Acklins reportedly went back to the resort hotel.
Djamilia Acklin told the Courier she went upstairs and her husband stayed to play poker on the adjacent boat. Acklin also told the Courier she and her mother-in-law looked for her husband that evening but could not find him. A missing person’s report was filed with the East Chicago Police Department the next day.
Det. Clarence Anderson with the East Chicago Police Department initially had told the Courier the investigation involved Djamilia Acklin but stressed she had not been accused of anything. Anderson had said some of the information she provided was contradictory.
The facts of Ray Acklin’s disappearance were posted on several missing-person websites, including www.helpfindthemissing.org.