NIU Student’s Disappearance Now A Death Investigation
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DEKALB (STMW) – Human remains and items belonging to a missing Northern Illinois University student have been found in a DeKalb park, police announced Saturday.
Investigators from the DeKalb County Major Case Squad recovered the human remains and items belonging to Antinette “Toni” Keller in Prairie Park south of Illinois Route 38, according to a DeKalb police release.
DeKalb police Chief Bill Feithen said the remains have not been positively identified, but police have reclassified Keller’s disappearance as a death investigation. Her family was notified Saturday evening, police said.
He would not say when the remains were found, nor when an autopsy would be performed.
A portion of the park remains cordoned off as officers continue the investigation, police said.
Friends last saw Keller, 18, about noon Oct. 14 when she said she was going for a walk near West Lincoln Highway by the Junction Center retail complex near the Northern Illinois University campus, according to an Oct. 18 alert from the school.
A spokesperson for NIU tells the school newspaper that the university is stepping up security “on and around” campus. It’s also warning students to be careful and travel in groups whenever possible.
Keller is a resident of Neptune North residence hall on the NIU campus, said Brad Hoey, NIU Media Relations spokesman.
The 2010 graduate of Neuqua Valley High School is majoring in art at NIU. Keller was active in art and music while she was in high school, Neuqua Valley Principal Bob McBride said.
Anyone with information potentially related to the case is urged to call (815) 748-8407 or (815) 753-8477 or Crime Stoppers at (815) 895-3272.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)