NIU, Community Awaiting Confirmation
UPDATED: 10/25/10 5:26 a.m.
DEKALB, Ill. (CBS) – DeKalb residents are anxiously waiting for answers.
On Monday, confirmation is expected for whether the remains found discovered in a park near the Northern Illinois University campus belonged to freshman Antinette “Toni” Keller.
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On Sunday, one day after police there announced they’d discovered human remains in the park, police were not giving any more information. The discovery came 10 days after Keller disappeared, and police indicated the remains might be hers.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports the police chief is also confirming the discovery wasn’t made on Saturday, when it was announced, but “early on in the investigation.”
Students are walking in pairs or groups now. Other NIU students are hanging safety signs on dorms. There’s a heightened sense of risk in DeKalb, a day after police announced they’d found human remains in popular Prairie Park.
“I’m just really scared to be here right now,” says sophomore Aleesia Washington.
Police have not identified the remains but say items consistent with those belonging to missing NIU freshman Antinette Keller were found near them. Police are now calling it a death, not a missing persons, investigation as well.
Ben Yamamoto is Keller’s friend. He went searching for his dorm-mate shortly after she disappeared ten days ago, until police stopped him.
“They said it was too dangerous,” he says.
Around noon on Oct. 14, Keller told friends she was going for a walk in that park. Now, police tape still restricts the area. And information isn’t easy to get. All police will say is remains were discovered in a densely wooded area.
Some students say they’ve heard talk the remains were actually found late Wednesday and DeKalb’s police chief confirmed reports the remains were found “early in the investigation” but wouldn’t elaborate. NIU’s Student Affairs Vice-President Brian Hemphill says campus security has been tightened and officials are taking this very seriously. But sophomore Candice Patrick says that’s not enough. She wants to know if a killer is out there.
On Monday morning, the NIU campus was on lockdown, restricted to students only.
Police also say they have not yet determined a cause of death but hope to have more information to release later Monday.