An Ogle County Murder Mystery

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

Though many of us weren't around when 17-year-old Mary Jane Reed was brutally murdered, it’s a present day homicide investigation that could be a great murder mystery novel. But what's missing is a motive and a murder suspect. On Wednesday Ogle County investigators revealed more information.

While the results from the evidence that was collected during Tuesday's exhumation may not be known for months, Mary Jane Reed's family can lay to rest some past speculations. Her brother, Warren Reed had been fighting for this exhumation to take place since 1999. It was an emotional event but the need to find the truth kept him going. For Warren's two daughters and his son it was their time to meet a long lost relative.

Warren’s daughter, Penny Kyker stated that, “Yea, it’s the first time i got to meet her."

Since then both the family and law enforcement officials have had a chance to digest Tuesday's events. At this press conference some new details were released to the media since we were kept at a distance.

Ogle County Coroner Louis Finch states, “The vault was in great condition there was no breakage in seals. The vault was perfect and that helped with the research."

What was up for debate to the family was if the body that was exhumed would even be Mary Jane Reed. Ogle County Sheriff Mel Messer tells 23 News, “That confirmed that was their sister which was questioned for years. That fear was relieved for them."

Officials did discover a dress and slip wrapped in newspaper in the vault. Those are the clothes Mary Jane was supposed to be buried in but wasn't. The exhumation also confirmed that Mary Jane's head was severed but in the coffin. Another past rumor spreading caused concern that her head would be missing. While some of the gossip can stop for now it will still take about 3 months for the results of DNA samples to come back. An autopsy was also performed at Rochelle Hospital. Based on what those lab results reveal that will determine how law enforcement officials proceed. If any suspects can be named remember, this is a 56-year-old murder and people that might be tied to this case could be dead.


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