Chicago-area mom found dead after going missing in 2003, case being investigated as homicide

The remains of a 22-year-old Chicago-area mother who went missing in 2003 have been found and her death is being investigated as a homicide, authorities said this week. 

The Aurora Police Department identified the skeletal remains found in Kane County in December as Tyesha Bell. The remains were found with clothes and personal items in a shallow grave in a wooded area, authorities said during a Tuesday news conference. 

Investigators used dental records and DNA to identify the remains as Bell. It was unclear how she died. 

Tyesha Bell

Tyesha Bell (Aurora Police Department)

“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 Bureau of Investigative Services Cmdr. Jack Fichtel said.

Bell was last seen by her sister in their apartment on May 10, 2003, police said. 

She left the residence after receiving a phone call but left the television on, candles burning in the bedroom and her two young children with family members, police said. 

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“Over the past 18 years, investigators have tirelessly followed up on numerous leads and theories to bring some sense of justice to Tyesha’s family and loved ones,” police said. “Still, our frustration mounts, considering that we believe someone knows what happened and has yet to come forward.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Aurora Police Department at (630) 256-5517 or email: tips@aurora.il.us.

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