Details of Disappearance Zak was last seen in Brookston, Minnesota on December 7, 2015. He had been living in a group home on a 160-acre rural farm on the Fond du Lac for the past several years, and was last seen at the home at 7:15 a.m. He was behaving normally at the time.
He went into his bedroom to take a shower, and by 8:00 a.m. he hadn't returned and the staff, who were waiting to take him to his job at a local bakery, noticed that the shower had been running for a long time. They went to check on him and he was gone; he had apparently escaped out the bathroom window. He has never been heard from again.
Zak is interested in World War II history and enjoys fishing. Due to his mental conditions he is extremely vulnerable; he had spent most of his life in and out of residential care facilities. At the group home he had medication, therapy, and 24-hour supervision, including visual checks every fifteen minutes. He kept in touch with his family regularly, speaking to them on the phone almost every day.
He had acted out in the past by harming himself and had previously run away, but he enjoyed his life at the home caring for the farm animals, and he hadn't run away in over a year prior to his disappearance.
There was a signal on Zak's cellular phone in the Esko, Minnesota area an hour after he left the home, but this was the last sign of him. On one of the previous occasions when he disappeared, he was found standing waist-deep in the St. Louis River, suffering from "psychological distress."
Investigators believe he may have gone to the river or another local body of water and drowned after his disappearance. A cadaver dog picked up the scent of human remains at the river, but searches of the area have turned up no sign of him. His case remains unsolved.
- St. Louis County Sheriff's Office
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 30, 2017; casefile added.