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Missing Schaumburg woman found dead in submerged vehicle

Sheila Khalili | Schaumburg police

A body found in a car in a retention pond early Thursday in Kankakee has been identified as a missing northwest suburban woman, and her family is thanking law-enforcement authorities for bringing them “closure.”

Sheila Khalili, 27, was expected to return to her parents’ home in Schaumburg on Friday, but never arrived, according to Schaumburg police. She was last seen in Bourbonnais, where she was a nursing student at Olivet Nazarene University. The school said she had checked out of her residence hall and had “left campus for the summer” before she went missing.

About 3:30 a.m. Thursday, a Kankakee County sheriff’s deputy was searching the shoulder of Interstate 57 near mile marker 317 and found a white side-view mirror and a front car bumper along with Illinois license plate Z750932, which matched Khalili’s car, police said.

Divers searched a retention pond on the east side of I-57, near where the debris was located, and found a car submerged in the pond, police said. A deceased female matching Khalili’s description was found inside.

A statement released by family attorney Thomas Glasgow said, “The family of Sheila Khalili extends their deepest thanks to the efforts of law enforcement, the media, Olivet Nazarene University, as well as the many friends and relatives that contributed their time and efforts to the search for the recovery of Sheila.

“The location of the car and the recovery of Sheila’s body gives the family closure, and they understand that without the help of law enforcement, the media and the public, they would never have closure in her disappearance.”

Police believe it was a single-car crash. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday at the Kankakee County coroner’s office.

“The university learned this morning from the family and local authorities that Sheila’s car was found just north of Bourbonnais and that Sheila was in the car, having passed away,” a statement from Olivet Nazarene University said. “Our hearts go out to the family. The ONU family is surrounding Sheila’s family, friends and Sheila’s nursing faculty with our thoughts and prayers.”