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BERKELEY, Ill. (CBS) — A 9-month-old mystery was apparently put to rest Tuesday as the search for a burglary suspect came to an end in a marsh in west suburban Berkeley.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported, police in Berkeley found skeletal remains Tuesday afternoon that were believed to belong to a man who was reported missing last October, after fleeing from police “for his alleged involvement in a commercial burglary to a local gas station.”
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The landscape where the remains were found has changed significantly over the past nine months, which might have helped lead to the discovery.
A construction crew working on an expressway expansion project found the remains were found around 12:40 p.m. Tuesday in a marshy area between the Tri-State Tollway and the Eisenhower Expressway, just south of St. Charles Road, according to Illinois State Police and Berkeley Police.
But Berkley police chief Timothy Larem said they have a pretty good idea who whom the skeletal remains belong.
“We have every reason to believe that this is our second individual in that matter,” Larem said. “We’ve had family members that have been out there searching with us. We’ve searched several times on our own as well.”
In November 2020, family of Delbert Miller reported him missing. The Chicago man was last seen in October – the same night suburban Berkeley police got a burglary call at the local Shell station.
Miller and another man are accused of leading officers on a short car chase.
“It was going at a pretty high rate of speed, lost control, went off the road into the spillway area where the clover leaf is,” chief Larem said.
Miller slipped away from police that night, possibly using what was damp overgrown brush as cover from police. He was never heard from again.
The other man was quickly arrested.
“The weather conditions that night, trying to hide from us – it was, I want to say it was 30 40 degrees, misty,” Larem said. “If you take to water, any kind of marshy area, the elements can get you.”
What are believed to be Miller’s remains were pulled from the brush, bringing closure to a nearly nine-month search. He was 53.
“People shouldn’t run from the police – that’s what it comes down to,” Larem said.
Illinois State Police were investigating, and said foul play is not suspected. An autopsy to determine the body’s identity and the cause of death has been scheduled for Wednesday at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
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