Who Will Exhume Mary Jane Reed?

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

It was basically a battle between one murder victim's family and Ogle County. Tuesday, both sides were in court and some major developments took place.

Records report that 17-year-old Mary Jane reed was shot in the head. She was found along a rural road in June 1948. Mary Jane was on a date with 28-year-old Stanley Skridla. Crime reports state Skridla was shot five times. For the past three years Mary Jane's only living relative, Warren Reed has been working with former Oregon Mayor Mike Arians to exhume Mary Jane's body.

Reed states, "I think I'll be relieved. It's been a long time and I will feel better."

Last April a judge granted the request to exhume her body but in August former Ogle County State's Attorney Deb Ellis filed a motion to intervene saying only Ogle County has jurisdiction of this case. But after months of going back and forth in court and a new Ogle County State's Attorney, Ben Roe, an agreement has been reached. Now this is a joint exhumation and investigation between the Ogle County Sheriff's department, the coroner's office, Illinois State Police, F.B.I. and 2 forensic pathologists.

Ben Roe says, "I think that's why this has taken so long. We have a unique situation that not all parties have not dealt with nor have several counties here in the state."

Jeffrey Hammerlund, the Reed family attorney says, "I hope this brings the case to a close and brings justice to Mary Jane that's what we're looking for is the truth."

Hammerlund and Reed will be present at the exhumation.

Reed tells 23 News, "I want to be on site that was one of the arguments. I feel better about that."

The remains and any further evidence this team of investigators deems necessary will be turned over to forensic pathologists and the state crime lab or F.B.I. crime lab in Washington, D.C.

Roe states, "This is not a simple matter to conduct. We want to make sure we are covering our basses so this will be done in a correct way."

What is dug up could reveal just what took place in the summer of 1948.

The results of the exhumation could remain confidential for at least a year. The exhumation is expected to take place before winter.


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