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Remains found in Illinois identified as Indianapolis woman, 20

Keriaye M. Winfrey
Posted at 4:10 PM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 16:51:58-04

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ill. — Human remains that were found late March in a wooded area of southern Illinois have been confirmed as those of an Indianapolis woman, police say.

The remains of Keriaye Winfrey, 20, were in woods just outside Mount Vernon, Ill., according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies responded March 21 to the woods west of Davidson Avenue and Veterans Memorial Drive after being called to assist Mount Vernon police with the discovery of human remains. Evidence was recovered that day and again on March 29, once the weather allowed investigators to search a larger area.

Illinois State Police, the Jefferson County Coroner's Office and local fire agencies were also dispatched.

Evidence that was recovered on March 21 led investigators to a possible identity, at which point DNA that was secured was forensically compared with DNA samples provided by Winfrey's family members. The remains were confirmed this week as Winfrey's, the Sheriff's Office said.

The Coroner's Office is still working with a forensic anthropologist to determine the cause and manner of Winfrey's death.

Anyone with more information was urged to contact Jefferson County Sheriff's Detective Captain Wallace at 618-244-8004 or Jefferson County Crime Stoppers at 618-242-TIPS.

The Sheriff's Office offered its condolences to Winfrey's family.