In May 2003, Tyesha Bell, 22, stepped outside of her apartment after getting a mysterious phone call. She was never seen again.
On Dec. 11, 2020, 17 years after Bell went missing, police uncovered skeletal remains, clothing, and some personal items in a shallow grave near Aurora, IL. Police announced they had found her remains this week.
Kane County Coroner Rob Russell worked with a dentist and bone specialist to create a profile of the body. Police thought it might be Bell, and it was confirmed through DNA records, according to The Chicago Tribune.
Bell’s case has now become a homicide investigation, so police didn’t release where the remains were found, how they were found or Bell’s cause of death.
Police suspected foul play when Bell went missing on May 10, 2003. She left her money and purse at home, candles burning in her bedroom and the television playing, according to The Chicago Tribune.
Bell’s mother described her as a headstrong woman who loved shopping and dancing. She says that Tyesha would never have abandoned her daughters, who keep her memory alive through poems and scrapbooks, the Chicago Tribune reported.
During a press conference, police said they’ve followed up on many leads in the case, but they’ve become frustrated because they believe someone knows what happened and hasn’t come forward.
“Our detectives continue to have working theories in Tyesha’s case, but we need more information before criminal charges can be authorized, and that’s where the public comes in,” Aurora Police Commander Jack Fichtel said.
Aurora police set up a dedicated tip line for Tyesha Bell’s case, and they are asking anyone with information to call (630) 256-5517 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips can also be left anonymously by calling Aurora Area Crime Stoppers at (630) 892-1000.