Family members of Robert Hosty Jr., cousin of Forest Park Commissioner Mark Hosty who disappeared June 15 while in Michigan, remain hopeful.

The 27-year-old, River Forest resident went missing that Sunday at around 3 a.m. while staying in the family’s cabin in Coloma, a city in Berrien County, Mich. Though his sandals were found by relatives at a beach near the cabin, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department on Monday could not confirm whether or not he went into the water. The department’s search and marine patrol, however, are searching the water, said Chuck Heit, under-sheriff for the department.

“Our shift is out looking during the day. We can’t say for sure he went into the water, but the search is continuing,” said Heit.

The search, he added, has not narrowed as police continue to search the surrounding area near the Michigan cabin. The department does not suspect foul play.

Hosty is a teacher at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago. He stopped by Healy’s Westside, a bar in Forest Park managed by Mark Hosty, just before he left for Michigan. Robert Hosty then went next door to a sandwich shop, which was the last time Mark Hosty saw his cousin.

“I saw him (that day),” Mark Hosty said of his cousin. “He stopped in to say hi on his way up to grab a sandwich at Jimmy John’s.”

The Forest Park commissioner said his cousin’s sandals were found on a beach near the cabin but that there has been no sign of the missing man since.

Hosty comes from a large family, his cousin added. About 60 relatives are involved in the search, along with Hosty’s friends. A relative who spoke to the Review on Monday, said the search has expanded to Chicago in case he’s returned to the area. Fliers have been put up in Chicago and in Lincoln Park where he has friends, said the relative, who asked to remain anonymous. The family put up a Web site over the provides updates, Hosty’s physical appearance, and news links concerning his disappearance.

He is not married and enjoys hanging out with friends and playing softball, said Mark Hosty.

The Forest Park commissioner said his cousin seemed fine last time he saw him, but family members noted that Hosty was having trouble sleeping before his disappearance.

The commissioner was at Healy’s Monday afternoon working while speaking of his missing cousin.

“We’re going to keep praying,” he insisted. “I’m just hoping he’ll come walking through that door.” 

The search for Robert Hosty Jr.

Robert Hosty Jr. is described as 6-foot-5, weighing 200 pounds, and with curly brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing an orange T-shirt with “Blame Rob” on it and wearing blue striped pajama bottoms.

Anyone with information about Hosty’s whereabouts should call 911 or contact the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department at 269/983-7141.

People can also visit the family’s Web site or their FaceBook webpage, by clicking here