UPDATE: Emily Anderson case moves to death investigation

Published: Oct. 8, 2017 at 8:21 PM CDT
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Update: October 11, 2017 3:22pm

STATELINE (WIFR) -- Investigators positively identify the body pulled from a vehicle in the Rock River Sunday night as missing Loves Park woman Emily Anderson.

It's the news many feared as investigators confirm the car was the vehicle Anderson was last seen driving before she vanished.

While authorities stay tight lipped on the investigation what we do know is that the missing persons case of Emily Anderson has now been moved to a death investigation.

Friends took to social media to offer prayers and condolences to the family as the four month mark of the missing 25-year old was quickly approaching.

Investigators tell us Anderson was found in the passenger seat without a seat belt on. The coroner believes she was in the driver’s seat at the time of the accident and reports there was no sign of struggle.

The question now goes from where is Emily to what was the cause behind her tragic death. We may learn more about the cause of death when a toxicology report is completed in two weeks.

A benefit will be held in Emily’s honor to help raise funds for the family. The event is scheduled for October 21, from 1:00PM to 11:00PM. This Friday the owner of Cronies Grill in Machesney Park is also accepting donations on behalf of Emily’s family.

Update: October 11, 2017

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) -- The body found Sunday night in the Rock River near Roscoe is confirmed as missing Loves Park woman Emily Anderson.

The Winnebago County Coroner says dental records positively identify the body as Anderson. He believes the body had been in the river for "some time". The coroner believes Emily was in the driver seat at the time of the accident and floated to the passenger seat of the car. There was no sign of struggle.

Anderson's car was found in the Rock River by a person swimming in the river who spotted the car's antenna.

Updated: October 10, 2017

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) -- The body found inside of Emily Anderson's car that was pulled out of the river has been confirmed to be a woman.

The preliminary cause of death hasn't been determined yet. The identity of the body will be determined by the Coroner's Office's Forensic Odontologist and could take several more days.

We'll update you as we learn more.

Updated: October 9, 2017, 5:49PM

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) -- Emily Anderson has been missing for more than three months. Now investigators are working on a new lead in the missing persons case of 25-year old Loves Park woman.

What furthers the case even more is the fact that investigators also located a body inside the vehicle pulled from the river which matched a description of the make and model Anderson was driving at the time she went missing. That vehicle description is silver Pontiac Grand Am.

A memorial lies near the area of where the vehicle was found Sunday evening. Neighbors nearby say they are shocked about the findings.They say they are glad the case is moving forward and the family is getting answers in the missing persons case.

The Loves Park Police Department is taking the lead on the death investigation. Detectives say the Illinois Department of Natural Resources used sonar equipment to find clues in the case as far north as Riverside Park.

"Up until this point we were kind of at a loss for why something hadn't turned up. At this point we can move forward in the investigation and hopefully get some answers," says Deputy Chief Shane Lynch with the Loves Park Police Department.

The river levels sits at a little less than four feet right now in northern Winnebago County. The remarkably dry weather has led to the lower levels which likely made it easier to discover the vehicle Sunday evening.

The body has not been identified as Emily Anderson. Loves Park police confirm one body was found in the vehicle; however, they did not specify whether it was a man or woman. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

Here's a timeline highlighting how we got to this point.

June 19th- Emily Anderson is first reported missing.

June 25th- Local businesses raise enough for a $10,000 reward for Emily's safe return.

July 11th- Whiskey's Roadhouse announces they are selling T-shirts with Anderson's picture on it.

August 23rd- Loves Park police hold a news conference announcing they have no new leads and are asking for the public's help.

October 8th- Police find a car matching the description of Emily's car in the Rock River near Roscoe with an unidentified body in it.

Updated: October 8, 2017, 11:20 p.m.

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) -- Winnebago County Coroner, Bill Hintz, says the Loves Park Police have confirmed that the car found in the Rock River Sunday evening is the missing Loves Park woman, Emily Anderson's car.

Coroner Hintz says at this time they are unable to tell if the body found inside the car is man or woman. He says they will have to use dental records to identify the body. The autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) -- Local law enforcement are investigating after a car was found in the Rock River in Roscoe with a body inside. Police say this car matches the description of Emily Anderson's, the Loves Park woman who has been missing a little over 3 months. Police have not yet confirmed that the body is Emily Anderson.

Harlem-Roscoe Fire was called to the 9800 block of Fantail Place in Roscoe near McDonlad Road and 251 after neighbors say they saw an antenna sticking up out of the water.

Officials say after working to pull the car out of the river they noticed it matched the description of a vehicle missing from Loves Park. The Loves Park Police were then called to the scene.

Harlem-Roscoe Fire, the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department, the Winnebago County Coroner, and the Loves Park Police Department are all at the scene now working to investigate.

Police have not yet confirmed the car or identity of the person found in the vehicle.

The is an ongoing investigation. We will keep you updated as we learn more information.