CHICAGO (CBS) — The body of a 24-year-old bartender last seen alive on Monday was found early Thursday in rural Kankakee County, and authorities said she had been shot in the head.
Kaitlyn Kearns of Mokena was reported missing Tuesday. According to the Will County Sheriff’s office, she was last seen at 1:30 a.m. Monday, after leaving her job tending bar at Woody’s Bar in Joliet.
Her 1996 Jeep Cherokee was located in rural Kankakee County overnight Wednesday night, and she was found dead at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office.
Relatives and volunteers had been searching a Joliet forest preserve Thursday morning, so it was not immediately clear when they were notified her body had been found.
“I’m still still waiting to wake up and be told this is all just a nightmare,” close friend Marie Roche tells CBS 2’s Sandra Torres.
The two typically got together to hang out on Thursday evenings. Instead, a vigil was planned for the murder victim this Thursday evening.
“She didn’t do anything wrong or deserve this in any which way. It doesn’t make sense as to why,” Roche says.
The Kankakee County Coroner’s office was performing an autopsy, but has confirmed she suffered a single gunshot wound to the head. Detectives believe she was the victim of a homicide, but would not provide any further information about her death, and would not say if anyone was in custody.
“Detectives believe that there is no threat to the community and that Kaitlyn was the intended target of this homicide,” the sheriff’s office said in a written statement.
A Will County Sheriff’s SWAT team executed a search warrant Thursday morning at Outlaws motorcycle club at 1915 E. Washington St. in Joliet as part of the homicide investigation.
Detectives asked anyone with information on Kearns’ death to call the sheriff’s office at 815-727-8574. An anonymous tip also can be sent to crimestoppersofwillcounty.org