NIU Students On Edge After Body Found

UPDATED: 10/25/10 6:22 p.m.

Related: Facebook Page Shows Frustration With NIU Case

DEKALB, Ill. (CBS) – An 18-year-old Northern Illinois University student has been missing for 11 days. The chief of police in DeKalb announced human remains were found, but he’s not saying when and why he’s keeping it a secret.

Meanwhile, as CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports. the school and community wonder if a killer is on the loose.

Investigators were back in the woods Monday, presumably searching for evidence. But exactly what they are looking for – after all these days – is still a big mystery.

Another day ticks and Antinette “Toni” Keller’s family is still waiting for clear-cut answers.

“We’re just taking it a moment at a time. We do have pretty much about the same information that the public has,” said Mary Tarling, Keller’s cousin. “We’re waiting for some confirmation and some testing of things, but we feel fairly certain that Toni is not with us anymore.”

The NIU freshman has been missing since Oct. 14th around noon, when she told friends she was going for a walk in Prairie Park.

DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen announced the discovery of human remains in the park late Saturday night, with items consistent to those belonging to Toni around them.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser Reports

The chief also confirmed those remains has actually been discovered days before, but kept quiet. And police still won’t or can’t say if they are Keller’s.

“We were aware of some things along the way,” said Tarling. “The police have been very good about trying to keep us in the loop as much as they can. And we do understand the areas that they can’t are really for the sake of trying to find out if there’s someone who did this, who that is.”

Police now call Keller’s case a death investigation, but there is no cause of death yet. Those who know Keller dismiss any talk of suicide.

Jonathan Kite is NIU’s resident hall president and lived on Keller’s floor. He says they want answers.

“It’s very difficult being in a situation where you don’t know,” said Kite.

Dorm security campus-wide has been tightened, and Keller’s friends are supporting each other, assuming the worst.

“People are just sad,” said Kite. “We lost a friend. It’s a tragic occurrence.”

But why is it taking police so long to let the DeKalb community know if a killer is on the loose? Chief Feithen told CBS 2 there are investigative reasons for the slow-to-come information. But those who live there say the lack of information puts them on edge.

  • FR

    The police chief and others who kept secret the finding of the body should be immediately fired. In fact, any government official should be fired for witholding any information from the public, unless it is to keep a suspect unaware as the suspect is under surveilence.

  • jpotloe

    get over it already

  • Joe

    I bet it was a suicide

  • N

    You people posting negative comments should be shot in the head. The body might be hers and her family is hurting and you losers got the nerve to be trolling on this story? Get a life!

  • Laura

    Again, DeKalb police are back-pedaling to cover their ineptitude at taking so long to find her body…”oh, we found it a while ago, but didn’t want to tell anyone…” RIGHT. What a horrible thing to do to the family.
    This will probably turn out to be a suicide.

  • Dekalb Is Unsafe

    DeKalb and NIU ARE UNSAFE!!! rapes, shootings, assaults and robberies in broad daylight happen here on a regular basis. The city leaders are more concerned about thier image as a “safe” town and sweep things under the rug all the time. It’s about as bad as Englewood any bad neighborhoods on the south or west sides. In fact you are porbably safer in those areas than in DeKalb.

    What about Bradley Olsen? He disappeard from the same area and has not been found. Police searched all of 2 days before giving up.

  • Gee-reg

    Sounds like the democrats in the area want all the republican momey to keep coming in (tuition-taxes-revenue-etc..etc..) which is why they keep all the crime hidden away from the news

  • Mar

    Stop covering up crimes in the area and especially on campus. Teach the officers how to serve and protect and if they cant get more that will. Keep our children safe and fire that Police Chief.

  • D

    This kind of stuff happens on campuses everywhere. The truth is, any area of high population and people wandering around to class/art spirit journeys late at night are going to be dangerous. You always need to tell someone where you’re going, travel in groups, bring a flashlight, know a safe path, stay in well lit areas, and turn off your iPod for the few minutes of your life you’re going to be walking across the street.

    I feel for her and her family, but it’s common sense not to go out alone at night or in the woods, especially if you’re a female. At my college orientation, this was drilled into our heads immediately. Watch yourself, watch your drink and use common sense to stay safe.

    The current NIU students have a right to feel alarmed, but this shouldn’t completely change their lives no more than any other crime on any other campus has changed the lifestyle of students there. Don’t give crime an opportunity and it won’t take one.

  • Emily

    I am a lifetime resident of DeKalb and an NIU graduate. I can assure you, NIU and DeKalb are not unsafe. DeKalb is a mid-size city with incidences of crime, just like every other city in Illinois and in the entire country. To deduce that they are unsafe because of a few isolated incidents that have made national headlines is ridiculous.

  • karl the dentist

    Everyone in DeKalb should carry a loaded gun and know how to use it!!!

  • jubbe latorquo

    Dem woods be hainted!! They’s a tree in ’em an it all carved up. It say , “walk alone in here at night and be grinded up by dem trees what in here, an dem what lives with ’em! It’s a hainted park.

    …ask the police about 25 years ago. Ask ’em…I dare ya.

    More bones in dem woods

  • Mr.Question

    Could someone help me out? They found remains and trying to determine if its her. What kind of remains have they found that can’t give them a visial positive identification. As far as we know it can be animal’s remain or there is a sick demented person out there. That’s the type of question that police should answer to protect the public.

  • Anonymous

    There’s no way the police would have kept this quiet if there was a killer on the loose. Notice it took days for the public to be notified, but they don’t say when the family was notified. The identification of human remains doesn’t take days – rather less than a day, especially in a missing persons case in which her dental records and DNA would have already been in the police’s possession. The fact that the police haven’t said anything is because they don’t want to, not because they don’t know anything. Guarantee it was a suicide and they’re just trying to protect the family.

  • Chuck

    Girls should travel in groups … armed. Social Democrats wish to disarm society thinking that Americans will kowtow like the Jews in NAZI Germany. So be illegal. Better to be tried by twelve than carried by six.

  • Just Wondering

    Why hasnt anyone checked phone records? I mean i know this takes a long time but you gotta look at phone records, bank cards.. I know i dont leave without my phone or my cards. Nothing else has been found? The story has gotten changed around sooo many times can we get the right story please?!

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