1,399 - saddest number I've seen in a long time

The headline today read: Person found dead in Crystal Lake identified as missing 18-year-old.

I first wrote about Adrian Salazar eight days ago when his family reported that on Sunday evening he had left home and was despondent and likely in possession of a firearm.

On Monday morning, area schools were put on a soft lockdown, neighbors were concerned for their safety, parents concerned for their kids at the schools. Police were looking for Adrian Salazar.

In the days that followed I checked in with Crystal Lake Police regularly, hoping to learn that he had been found and was safely back home.

But I always got the same response: No new news, nothing new to report, case is still under investigation, and there is no reason for the public to fear for their safety.

Late yesterday, Monday afternoon, eight days after he first went missing, an emergency alert went out announcing a body with a gun laying nearby had been found in a Crystal Lake park.

That body was later identified by the McHenry County Coroner as 18-year-old Adrian Salazar.

Why is 1,399 the saddest number I’ve seen in a long time?

On his Facebook page, he has 1,399 friends. Yet, for some reason, eight days ago there was not one whom he felt he could reach out to.

What does that say about this world when publicly a young man appears to have 1,399 friends, yet in the saddest, darkest moments of his life there is not one he felt he could reach out to. Not one who knew just how sad he was? Not one friend who could have been present to save him from himself?

What Adrian Salazar did was not anyone’s fault. But I think it could be seen as a message that we need to do better. Please read the story below and let it move you to be present to those around you, to connect with those whom you love and consider friends.

I think Adrian Salazar needed just one friend this week. He apparently didn’t think he had one, regardless of the 1,399 he had on Facebook.



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  • You are so right about this. So sad to think that there was nobody to help this child with his issues. Nobody to turn to, especially with so many possible connections. Prayers for him and his family.

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