Who Killed Tyesha Bell? Body Of Illinois Mom Who Vanished In 2003 Found

The Aurora Police Department of Illinois confirmed that Tyesha Patrice Bell's remains were discovered in December 2020. Ms. Bell vanished on May 10, 2003.

March 19, 2021
Tyesha Patrice Bell [screenshot via ABC 7]

Tyesha Patrice Bell [screenshot via ABC 7]

Tyesha Patrice Bell [screenshot via ABC 7]

By: Michelle Sigona

The Aurora Police Department in Illinois confirmed the body of 22-year-old Tyesha Patrice Bell was finally discovered and positively identified. Bell was originally reported missing to authorities 18 years ago by her family. During a press conference this week, investigators said remains were found in a shallow grave in December 2020. Those remains were preserved, processed and sent to a local crime lab for identification.

On May 10, 2003, according to police, Bell’s sister said she last saw her loved one alive inside the apartment they shared. But a mystery call from an unknown person that night in May made Bell leave the residence. Bell never had contact with her two young children again and left candles burning, authorities said.

According to published reports, Bell’s family sent more than 50 messages to her phone and when she didn’t respond, they reported her missing to authorities. Lorna Smith told the Chicago Tribune about filing the report on Mother’s Day, "I just knew something bad had happened to her.”

In 2004, the Chicago Tribune also reported that police questioned a possible “person of interest” and even searched the person's home, but eventually that lead and many other tips over the years hit a wall.

Toward the end of 2020, when Bell’s remains were uncovered, so were other personal items like clothing and belongings at the scene. Police say based on what was found at the site, the Kane County Morgue did additional testing and the coroner was able to create a profile of the victim. Coroner Rob Russell consulted and coordinated with a forensic odontologist and anthropologist. Police confirm DNA was also sent to the crime lab.

Based on the information provided, the Aurora Police said Bell was not only identified, but an autopsy was performed and the manner of her death is now homicide.

Aurora Police Department's Bureau of Investigative Services Commander Jack Fichtel said, "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. We implore anyone who may have information to please come forward."

Investigators added during a press conference, “Still, our frustration mounts, considering that we believe someone knows what happened and has yet to come forward.”

If you have any information about Tyesha Bell’s murder, please contact the Aurora Police Department directly: (630) 256-5517 or send a message to: tips@aurora.il.us.

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