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Charges May Be Coming In Round Lake Mom’s Death

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Missing Round Lake woman Melissa Best

Missing Round Lake woman Melissa Best

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ROUND LAKE PARK, Ill. (CBS) – Two people could soon face charges in the death of a 34-year-old mother from Round Lake Park, whose body was found in her van 10 days after she vanished.

Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko announced Tuesday that the body of Melissa Ann Best, 34, had been found in the back of her minivan Monday evening in the parking lot of a Grayslake apartment complex.

Officials say two people could face criminal charges, which could be filed under a new Illinois law that makes it a Class 4 felony to conceal a death. It is already a crime to conceal a homicide.

Best had last been seen driving her Pontiac minivan on April 15, after she dropped off her teenage daughter at a friend’s house in a neighboring suburb. Police believe that was the last day of her life, Filenko said.

The investigation so far indicates that Best drove to a location in Waukegan, where something happened that led to her death. She was then driven to the parking lot of the Grays Point Studios apartment complex, near Routes 120 and 45 in Grayslake.

The parked van was found around 6:50 p.m. Monday evening, based on tips police received through Facebook.

Best’s body was reclining in the back seat of the van.

Lake County Coroner Artis Yancey said Tuesday there were no outward signs of trauma on her body and that an autopsy is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Filenko said Best knew the people she went to meet in Waukegan, and there are persons of interest who could be charged with concealing her death.

Drugs and alcohol are believed to be involved in Best’s death, Filenko said. She had a history of alcohol abuse, and tested positive for opiates, he said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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