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Case of missing student now officially a homicide investigation

Bryan Alaspa's picture

Earlier in the week human remains were found near the Northern Illinois University and believed to be those of missing student Atinette “Toni” Keller. The remains were being examined by police and authorities. Now, however, it has been revealed that the remains were too badly burned for a proper autopsy. As such, the case has been reclassified as a homicide investigation from a death investigation.

Toni Keller went missing on October 14. She told friends that she was headed into a heavily wooded area known as Prairie Park. She was last seen carrying an art portfolio and a professional camera. These items were found near the remains, according to police, which is why they now believe the remains are that of Keller.

Burning is common in area

The smell of things burning, however, is common in the area where the remains were found. It is a place where people often build campfires and bonfires. So, the fact that something was burning there did not arouse suspicion.

The police state that they have interviewed more than 50 people, some of them twice, but have no leads that they wish to share with the media and no suspects have been revealed. The case has touched off fear in the area, in particular, among students at the NIU campus. The dorms and buildings on campus have been in a “lockdown” mode with students having to show identification upon entering.

The authorities made statements to the press today confirming that the remains found this past Saturday were, indeed, human. However, they have been reticent to reveal anything more about the investigation for fear it might compromise the investigation. They have warned students and residents to avoid the area.

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