CRIME

Police find car of missing former O'Connell teacher, Tom Duesterhaus

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Police have found the car of Tom Duesterhaus, the former Bishop O'Connell High School teacher who went missing on June 17.

Tom Duesterhaus

"Tom's car was located yesterday (Thursday)," Tom's father, Rich Duesterhaus, says on the Facebook page, Find Tom Duesterhaus. "It had been parked in a parking garage in Northern Virginia since June 17th, the day Tom disappeared. So far the detective that has gone through the car has found nothing that would help us know where Tom is at."

Family and friends organized a prayer service at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Vienna a week later.

A group of former students set up the Facebook group to share information in their search for Duesterhaus. It currently has more than 2,000 members.

The 37-year-old English teacher and youth minister had just found out his teaching contract at Bishop O'Connell wasn't renewed.

At the time of his disappearance, the family said they learned it wasn't a criminal matter but don't know much else.

He voluntarily left his Carlin Lane, McLean, home on June 17 and was "distraught," police said.

After learning his contract would not be renewed, Duesterhaus went to Virginia Beach on a religious mission.

An eyewitness told police she saw him swim into the ocean. Police found his travel bag on the beach 12 hours later.

The Ballston Patch reports: "Lucy Balsten, a friend of Duesterhaus, said attendants at the parking garage finally noticed the car and called police. A security camera tape later showed Duesterhaus parking the car and walking away, she said."

"We are reaching out to the community to pray for the safety of my brother Tom," Greg Duesterhaus told ABC7's Jennifer Donelan in an email message last month. "If he sees this broadcast or any other appeal for his return we hope that he would make contact with someone in his family or group of friends to let us know he is alright."

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