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Updates in search for missing NIU student

Bryan Alaspa's picture

The DuPage County Major Case Squad has now stepped in and taken over the investigation for the missing Northern Illinois University student, Toni Keller. The investigation is now a joint effort between police officers from NIU, the city of DeKalb, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, the city of Sycamore and the Illinois State Police. Antinette “Toni” Keller has been missing since noon last Thursday when the art student said she was heading into the forest to find inspiration for an art project.

The search has, so far, focused on the various lakes, rivers and forests in and around the area near NIU known as Prairie Park. The park is just south of the NIU campus. “Dive Rescue” teams have been searching the water areas.

Missing NIU student's father speaks

For the first time her father, Roger Keller, spoke to the press officially. He has been reported as helping out with the investigation and search for his daughter. Her mother, meanwhile, has been hospitalized due to stress over the search for her daughter. Roger Keller told the media that he is trying to remain hopeful and positive about his daughter’s safe return.

Keller also told the press that it is not like his daughter to have just walked off or run away. He also stated his daughter and his wife had just spoken via telephone days before she disappeared. The two were making plans to get together soon.

Students from NIU campus have been helping in the search. However, the authorities have been requesting that students not wander into the wooded areas for fear that more might disappear or be hurt. They have been requesting students hand out fliers with Toni’s photo and description on it.

The police found Keller’s dorm room key in the woods on Tuesday. The police said that it had been reported as missing some time ago, however, so the police are not saying it is a strong lead in her disappearance. So far no other evidence has been found and no trace of her has been spotted.

Keller is an art student. She has brown hair and blue eyes. When she was last seen she was wearing blue jeans and a gray jacket with a scarf. She has a small piercing in her right nostril and a tattoo of three sunflowers on the upper portion of her chest. She may have also been carrying a portfolio under one arm and a professional-looking camera.

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