Task force now involved in case of missing Fulton County man

By Marshanna Hester

April 4, 2013 Updated Apr 5, 2013 at 11:34 AM CDT

FULTON COUNTY, Ill. -- The family of Derick Higgins, 21, is fighting through agonizing worry and pain to find him. He's been missing for two weeks.

"I do think something has happened to him, harmful," said grandfather David Bruketta. "I pray to God it hasn't, but I'm scared."

"It's awful hearing his little sister saying we don't know if he's dead or alive," said Debbie Corsaw, Derick's mother.

Corsaw said it's uncharacteristic of her son to up and leave without telling anyone.

He left his phone, video games and clothes behind at the home they shared with his younger siblings.

"I've gone through his calls, any number i didn't recognize I called it. I checked out every single lead," she said. "I've been in a vehicle with my ex-husband looking for him. I've played it a thousand times in my head. I have no idea why he left."

Derick left his home in a tan 1998 Buick LeSabre, with a cracked windshield and front bumper damage.

Family members say Derick had his problems, as any other young adult, but they have no reason to believe he had any enemies.

His brother Justin Higgins says Derick was, "extremely outgoing and everybody liked him. He was a guy everybody could get along with."

Derick's spirit carried over into athletics, where he excelled as a football and track star North Fulton High School.

His accomplishments are proudly displayed at his grandfather's office in Canton, where Deputy Sheriff Dan Daly Junior briefed the family on the investigation.

Daly didn't want to interview on camera, but says potential leads have come up empty. Authorities say there are lots of tan LeSabre's and urge people to look at the license plate, Illinois tag L987041.

Meanwhile, loved ones are going to any lengths for answers.

"We've been contacted by psychics and we've kind of gone on a little bit of what they've said, hopefully that there would be something there, but so far nothing," said cousin Sherri Delost.

An Illinois State Police Task Force is now involved in the search for Derick Higgins.

If you have any information on his whereabouts, call the Fulton County Sheriff's Office at (309) 547-2277.