29-year-old’s body was found in Harvard

Authorities are investigating the death of a 29-year-old Woodstock man whose body was found in Harvard.

The body of Jeffrey T. Carlton was discovered Aug. 20 on an abandoned piece of property at 20806 McGuire Road, Harvard, according to McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski. Neither the coroner’s office nor the Harvard Police Department believe Carlton was the victim of foul play.

“There wasn’t any trauma to the body that would clearly indicate there was anything foul,” said Harvard Police Chief Mark Krause.

Carlton left his home Aug. 18 and did not return, according to a press release from the coroner’s office. He was declared missing Aug. 19 after police found a vehicle he had been driving abandoned in a parking lot in Harvard, Krause said. Carlton’s body was discovered the next day by a party which had gone out in search of him.

Krause said he is awaiting the coroner’s ruling before commenting on the cause of Carlton’s death. The coroner’s office is continuing its investigation, but the police department’s investigation is no longer active, he said.

In a post on DonorDrive.com, a website for fundraising campaigns, Carlton, who grew up in McHenry, was remembered as “a kind, funny, spirited guy who was a truly gifted student, excelled at every sport he ever tried and [who was] a friend to all.”

The fundraiser in Carlton’s honor is attributed to his family. It will benefit the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, which awards research grants to scientists studying brain and behavior disorders.

Carlton was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2015, fundraiser organizers wrote.

“What we hope everyone will realize is that mental illness is not mental weakness, although many often look at it that way. It is a disease much like heart disease, diabetes or even cancer, but we often act as if that is not true,” the post on DonorDrive said. “We might think that if the person was stronger, had a more supportive family or if they could just get their act together, they wouldn’t have this problem. We are asking that you join our family in creating a place where we ultimately see mental illness not as a weakness, but like any other disease we bring awareness to and research, diagnose, support and effectively treat.”

Carlton’s family could not be reached for comment. By Aug. 28, the fundraiser had collected $4,095, far more than its initial goal of $1,000.

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