Mystery Of Missing LaSalle County Woman Continues

SENECA, Ill. (CBS) – It has been more than 48 hours since a LaSalle County woman mysteriously disappeared following the car crash that killed her husband, and clues have yet to surface in the mystery.

The search for a 40-year-old mother of four resumed around 9 a.m. Tuesday with 50 people combing the area around the accident site. Low-flying helicopters were deployed to move the snow cover to help with the search.

Tanya Shannon, of Ransom, Ill., apparently walked away from a single-car crash near Seneca early Sunday morning that killed her husband, Dale Shannon, 41. But what happened after that, nobody knows.

The Shannons were heading home to Ransom from a holiday party at the Knights of Columbus in Streator, which is about a 30-minute drive.

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Tanya was wearing a bright red ball gown.

As they drove home on a snowy stretch of road in rural Brookfield Township, their car hit an ice patch and spun out of control, hitting a pole.

But what happened after that?

Search crews have been using brooms and sticks to try to prod through the snow in hopes of finding her.

“There are injuries that were serious enough to have killed her husband at the scene of the crash,” said LaSalle County Sheriff Tom Templeton. “Did she also suffer injuries that were so serious that they caused her to fall into a ditch?”

Authorities say footsteps at the scene indicate that Tanya Shannon survived and stumbled away.

Templeton’s says Tuesday’s search will concentrate on areas just outside the 2 to 3 mile area searched already. He said it could be the last day.

“They’re areas that are a little bit outside the search area that we’ve already done.  We’re going to give it every shot, if in fact she made it farther than we think she may have, we’re not going to take it for granted that she couldn’t have gotten so far,” Templeton told Newsradio 780.

“For some unknown reason now, she hasn’t contacted with the family,” Templeton said. “She has four children. We understand she is a really loving mother.”

Tanya Shannon’s formal shoes were found in the car, and one of her slippers was found outside the vehicle. But there has been no sign of the mother of four, who is believed to be wearing the red dress she wore to the Knights of Columbus dance.

The most recent entry on Tanya Shannon’s Facebook page is from Saturday morning:

“here I go,” she wrote.  “hope I make it streets r nt plowed out here!!”

Now as loved ones are preparing to bury her husband, family members are praying that she somehow made it to safety.

Tanya Shannon was last seen wearing the red dress she wore to the dance, and a gray fleece hooded jacket.

Search crews have used dogs and searched from the air, but so far their efforts have produced no results.

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  • JeanSC

    The news stories seem to indicate she walked to the road but did not walk away from it after that. The only way you can disappear after leaving such evidence is if you were taken away from the spot by car or by air. I think there are remote-sensing tools which will enable us to see the contours of bedrock through jungles, etc. Isn’t there anything which will let us see mammals underneath the snow? The density is much different. We can do better than search with just visible light. But if she was picked up by a car, she’s probably not in a snowy ditch nearby.

  • James Hart

    If they were traveling from Streator to Ransom, why were they in Seneca?

  • Sherry

    Good point James, Seneca is past Ransom.

  • khChicago

    I don’t see it mentioned in the article if it is known who was driving. Seems like that would be a question that should be addressed here.

  • John R

    Something very odd here. Hope she’s OK but it doesn’t sound good.

  • betty J

    No cell phone? Neither of them had a cell phone she could use to call someone?

  • Natalie Magnan

    I wonder if her purse was in the car. Since her footprints end at the road with one slipper still in the footprint – it seems to me that either she got into a vehicle or she was hit by a vehicle. Very strange story. So sad for her children.

  • PSP123.

    Sherry and James…Perhaps they were running an errand and drove beyond their home. Secondly, I agree there is foul play at foot but probably nothing intentional. I don’t think anyone could plan this so well. Looks like someone acted out a crime of opportunity and took her away.

  • Annie

    How did husband die of broken neck??? blunt force trauma would be more likely in a crash?? Also was Tanya linked with any other man, rumor has it that could be!

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