Jessica Evans and Jacob Wheeler went missing Saturday while fishing near the Little Wabash River outside Carmi, IL. Days later, deputies found Evans' body with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.
Now considered a person of interest, Wheeler is still missing and his familiy is still searching.
A dusty, gravel path on the outskirts of town is a lonely road for anyone like Sharon Hale.
"Jacob Wheeler is my nephew," said Hale. "He just thought he'd go fishing one night and he hasn't been seen since."
Time moves slow in a small community like White County. It moves slower when you're still searching.
"These are the issues we don't like having to deal with," said White County Sheriff Doug Maier. "Anytime you have something like this it has to make you wonder. It's the talk of the town."
It's now a town shaken by the homicide of a 17 year old girl, Jessica Evans.
Her boyfriend is still missing. Her boyfriend is Jacob Wheeler.
"It's too early to determine because he may very well be a victim in this whole situtation," said Sheriff Maier. "He may be a suspect in the death of this young lady. It's just too early to make that determination."
"He would do anything for any body," said Hale. "That's why we don't understand what's going on today."
There are two crime scenes that are two miles apart. One scene is a campsite where the two went fishing Saturday.
The other is the site where deputies found Evans' body Monday in the bed of her boyfriend's Dodge truck. The truck appeared to have been intentionally placed in an embankment near the Little Wabash River, according to investigators. The keys were missing.
Hale says it couldn't have been Jacob who put the truck there because he loved his truck and considered it one of his best friends. She believes a third person is involved and her nephew is also a victim.
"The hard part about this is we've lost a young lady in our community," said Sheriff Maier. "We're not used to that obviously and that's the most difficult part, the fear of the unknown because we have a lot of unanswered questions."
With her nephew feared dead while also considered a person of interest, it's the most tragic of dualities for Sharon Hale.
It's also the lonliest of roads.
"I feel it in my heart he's here," said Hale. "But we just think about that somebody is going to find him. I hope it's today so we can all have closure."
An autopsy is underway and the investigation continues.
Sheriff Maier says Wheeler does have an estranged wife who now lives in Florida. She and Wheeler have been separated for about a year.
Furthermore, Sheriff Maier says the Wheeler and Evans families have both cooperated with authorities and their investigation.
We will keep you updated.