Friends, family and volunteers search for missing Edwards woman

By WEEK Producer

October 1, 2013 Updated Oct 1, 2013 at 7:04 PM CDT

CHILLICOTHE, Ill. -- What was supposed to be a weekend wedding celebration turned into a nightmare for an Edwards family.

Peoria County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the disappearance of Julie Peters, 22. Friends and volunteers spent several hours on Tuesday looking for the mother of two.

About a dozen people scoured fields and woods off Ratcliff road in Chillicothe Tuesday afternoon searching for Peters.

"She hasn't shown up to work for the past two days and Julie never misses work ever,” said Peters’ friend Abby Maurer. “If anything she's the person volunteering to pick up extra shifts. She's a good mother. She wouldn't just abandon her children, never."

Maurer said calls to Peters’ cell phone have gone to voice mail and friends have also tried unsuccessfully to get a response from her on Facebook. They said it is unclear what happened after she left Chillicothe.

Julie Peters was last seen at the American Legion Saturday night when she left a wedding reception between 10:30 p.m. and 11 pm.

Friends said Peters, the mother of two young boys, was expected to return home to her mom's house in Edwards.

"She's not a trouble maker or nothing like that. It's hard to explain. It's killing me right now but for her to come up missing like this it's not normal,” said Peter’s friend Jeremy Stevenson.

"Well it's obviously unusual when someone of this age just all of a sudden doesn't tell anybody their whereabouts and is reported as a missing person,” said Capt. Mark Greskoviak of the Peoria County Sheriff’s Department.

On the first day of searching, the group spent several hours scouring areas between Chillicothe and Edwards and a part of Peoria.

“I'm just hoping that she's found alive, safe, okay and that we can reunite her with her children,” Maurer said.

Maurer said they will not stop until they find signs or evidence of Peters’ whereabouts.

Julie Peters is about 5’6” and 130 pounds. She has brown hair and hazel eyes.

She drives a silver 2006 Chevy Impala with license plate number P507471.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Peoria County Sheriff's Department at (309) 697- 7822.