CHICAGO (CBS) — Police in northwest suburban Elgin were looking into the possibility a body found Saturday morning in a lagoon in Lincoln Park belongs to an Elgin woman who was reported missing a day earlier.
Around 11 a.m. Saturday, a fisherman discovered human remains in a duffel bag in the South Lagoon at Lincoln Park, and called 911. Police divers and detectives went to the scene, and found another bag with more remains from the same body.
Police have confirmed the victim was a white woman, but the victim remained unidentified as of Monday morning. However, Elgin police said they are investigating whether the body is that of 76-year-old Gail Peck, who was reported missing Friday afternoon.
Peck left home Friday afternoon to walk her dog, but the dog later returned home without her, Elgin police said. Detectives now are treating the case as a criminal investigation, and were questing her son, who lives with her and reported her missing.
“Detectives have been following up on many leads since her disappearance. We are also working with the Chicago Police Department on the possibility that the body that was found in a lagoon area near Lincoln Park is related to this case. Additional testing will need to be conducted before we can confirm there is a connection. Nobody has been charged in the case at this time and all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” Elgin police said in a Facebook post.
Elgin Police Deputy Chief Bill Wolf said investigators were conducting another search of Peck’s home. Police searched the home on Friday after she was reported missing.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said detectives have been looking through missing person reports to try to identify the body found in the lagoon.
“We can confirm that it is an adult, but the [Cook County] medical examiner is leading that investigation in terms of any other details with that. So we’ll wait until they come up with their conclusions,” he said.
An autopsy performed Sunday was inconclusive, pending further investigation.
According to the medical examiner’s office, the remains include a torso and parts of two legs. The deceased appears to a white woman. She has a scar on her back due to a previous back surgery. The Medical Examiner’s Office is working with Elgin police to determine if the remains match a missing person’s case from Elgin. DNA samples have been sent to a lab for testing.
At this time, the deceased remains unidentified. Scientific testing is necessary to confirm identity.