NIU Students On Edge After Body Found
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UPDATED: 10/25/10 6:22 p.m.
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.
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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.