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Dive Team Joins Search For Toni Keller Of NIU

Reported Sighting Turns Up Empty
Photo Of Antinette Keller (Facebook Photo)

Photo Of Antinette Keller (Facebook Photo)

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(UPDATED: 10.21.2010 3:10 p.m.)

DEKALB (WBBM) — The DeKalb County Sheriff says a dive team has been called in to search the Kishwaukee River for signs of a missing student.

Sheriff Roger Scott says the divers from the St. Charles Fire Department are being used only “as a tool.” He says there is no indication that 18-year-old Toni Keller of Plainfield might have drowned.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller Reports

The chief of the DeKalb Fire Department, Bruce Harrison, says the dive team is conducting an underwater search of the south branch of the Kishwaukee River.

Harrison says the water is “very murky and very muddy” and low. He says a surface search was conducted earlier in the week.

St. Charles Police Department Spokesman Paul McCurtain says four members of the fire department dive team were dispatched to DeKalb at 11:50 a.m. Thursday.

It has been a week since Keller disappeared after telling friends at Northern Illinois University she was going for a walk.

Last night, Sheriff Scott says a tip from a motorist led authorities to one area of the county.

“Last night we were particularly involved because there was a report that she might have been sighted out at Route 38, south of Route 38, on Nelson Road, which is out in the county by about 3 or 4 miles. So we had an extensive search last night,” Scott said

He says nothing was found.

“We believe, after talking to the witness, that actually he did see someone on the tracks, though later on he looked at a picture [of Keller] and said it was probably not the same person.”

Authorities say a search volunteer found a shovel south of campus. But it’s not clear whether it has anything to do with the Keller investigation.

NIU says Keller’s dorm key was found off campus – but her father is quoted as saying she lost the key some time ago.