Three juvenile hikers found a missing 76-year-old man dead Sunday morning after he had apparently been involved in a crash in unincorporated Lake County.
About 11:10 a.m., the hikers found a gold 2010 Toyota Prius that had crashed into a tree at 20303 W. Winchester Rd. in unincorporated Mundelein, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. One of the hikers believed there was a body inside the car.
Officers arrived and found the car about half a mile south of Winchester Road, and about a third of a mile east of Route 83. Dale Kropke, who was reported missing from north suburban Round Lake earlier this month, was found dead in the driver’s seat, police and the Lake County Coroner’s Office said.
Kropke, of Grayslake, had last been seen about 10:30 a.m. March 4, according to a missing person alert from Round Lake police, which said he may have been driving to an appointment at Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
Prior to his death, Kropke was traveling east on Winchester Road near Route 83 when his Toyota veered south into a field and struck a tree, police said.
On Monday morning, authorities said the search for Kropke had been canceled, but provided no additional details. He was later identified by the coroner’s office as the man who died in the crash.
Preliminary results of an autopsy conducted Monday found Kropke died from multiple injuries related to the crash, the coroner’s office said. Toxicology results were pending, and an investigation into the circumstances of his death was ongoing.
“Mr. Kropke’s family has been notified and our deepest condolences go out to them,” Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper said in a statement.