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A missing Illinois woman who vanished after telling her mother over the phone that she was on her way home has been found dead as police now seek out a suspect in the case.
Police are searching for Alexander McWilliam, 36, in connection to the disappearance and shooting death of Mishealia M. Meredith, the Illinois State Police, District 19, announced in a press release Wednesday. McWilliam is described as an African-American male with black hair and brown eyes who weighs around 215 pounds and is five feet, 10 inches tall. Authorities that say he is armed and dangerous and urges anyone who comes across him to call 911.
Meredith, a 19-year-old Harrisburg resident, was last seen alive on Friday evening at around 7 p.m., WSIL reports. That night, she spoke to her mother on the phone and told her that she was walking home, but she never made it to her destination. Her phone was later found in the Eldorado area, according to the outlet.
The Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation was called in on Sunday to help Harrisburg police investigate a woman's disappearance, police said in a release that does not mention Meredith by name. The investigation led them to Eldorado, where they found “evidence of a homicide”; the missing woman’s remains were then located in a rural area of Gallatin County, authorities said.
Police have not released details surrounding Meredith’s killing, but a GoFundMe campaign launched in her honor states that the teen was “maliciously murdered after being shot twice.”
“Mishealia's family and friends are left in pieces after such a [heinous] tragedy. Mishealia did not deserve to die and her family was not prepared to have to deal with burying their baby girl,” the statement reads.
Meredith was a student at Southeastern Illinois College, according to an obituary. Her loved ones describe her as a sweet person who was also smiling and who enjoyed a close relationship with her family, KFVS reports.
Illinois Police have stated that the investigation into Meredith’s death is still open. Anyone with any information on the case is encouraged to contact the ISP DCI Zone 8 by calling 618-542-2171.
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