While FBI agents and state troopers spent a second straight day scouring Hammel Woods for some sign of missing mom Stacy Peterson, there was no one to be found in a Joliet cul-de-sac just six miles away, the one where another mother was supposedly seen running off barefoot, never to be seen again.
That mother, Linda Fellenbaum, 33, disappeared Oct. 21, leaving her cell phone, shoes and Toyota Camry at the home of the Joliet man she moved in with only two months before.
Fellenbaum and her Joliet boyfriend, Donald Wolak, 40, had met on the Internet, police said, and their short relationship was made out to be a stormy one.
Wolak told police Fellenbaum took off on him five days before disappeared for good. And when she absconded on Oct. 16, she stole a "large sum of cash" and one of his handguns, Joliet police Cmdr. Briant Benton said Wolak told detectives.
Fellenbaum returned to Wolak's home on Oct. 21, police said, with Wolak believing she came back to give him his gun and money. But instead the couple argued, and the barefoot woman fled without her shoes, phone or car, Benton said Wolak explained to investigators.
It later came to light that Wolak wasn't the first man Fellenbaum visited that day, according to a Chicago resident who says he and the mother of three connected on Facebook and met for a sex date at a Naperville hotel about 4 p.m. on Oct. 21.
The tryst never came off, the man said, and he didn't even realize his would-be lover was missing until nearly two weeks later.
Fellenbaum's family said they have heard nothing from the missing woman, but claim a neighbor and friend of Wolak used her abandoned cell phone to call them. Fellenbaum's mother and brother-in-law said the neighbor went by a fake name but detectives figured out her true identity.
The Joliet police have canvassed Wolak's neighborhood several times since she was reported missing to them on Oct, 25. Joliet Police Chief Mike Trafton said Wolak has cooperated with detectives and allowed them inside his house.
Wolak has failed to return calls for comment from Patch and has not answered the door to his house after repeated visits to his home. Likewise, the neighbor accused by Fellenbaum's family of using the missing woman's telephone to call them has failed to answer her door or to return calls made to her phone.
To support the efforts by police, the family and friends of Fellenbaum conducted a search of their own Sunday. They gathered at nearby Mistwood Golf Course in Romeoville and walked through the area looking for the missing mother.
The volunteer search ended without locating Fellenbaum, and after two days, the professional operation conducted by the state police and FBI failed to find Stacy, sources said.