DEKALB, Ill. (STMW) – Six months after Antinette “Toni” Keller was murdered, her family has not held a funeral.
There is no grave, no place for them to remember their 18-year-old daughter, who was starting a new chapter in her life as a freshman at Northern Illinois University when she was killed in October 2010.
That will change now that the DeKalb County prosecutor and public defender agreed Friday to release Keller’s ashes to her family. Select remains with potential evidentiary value will be kept at the DeKalb County Coroner’s office, a judge ruled Friday.
“It goes without saying they are looking forward to the day they can take their daughter home,” State’s Attorney Clay Campbell said of Keller’s family, who was not in court.
Keller, an art student, disappeared Oct. 14, telling friends she was going to a DeKalb park near campus to sketch. Two days later, some of her personal items were found next to burned remains.
William Curl, 35, of DeKalb, a frequent visitor to the park, was arrested Oct. 29 and charged with murder, sexual assault and arson in the case.
The crime scene was torched, but DNA matched Keller to the scene in January.
Curl is being held on $5 million bond.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)