Missing Woman's Body Found

Tanya Shannon missing since Dec. 5

By Marcus Riley and Phil Rogers
|  Monday, Jan 3, 2011  |  Updated 7:44 PM CDT
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Missing Woman's Body Found

Tanya Shannon has been missing since the Dec. 4 crash.

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Authorities in LaSalle County said they've found the body of Tanya Shannon.  The mother of four went missing early last month after a one-car crash that killed her husband.

The body, clad in what appeared to be a red dress, was found a short distance from the spot where Shannon's husband was found dead behind the wheel of their car.

"We have identified her as Tanya Shannon based on the physical description as well as the description of the clothing she was wearing the night that she disappeared," said LaSalle County Coroner Judy Bernard.

An autopsy will likely be performed Wednesday.

Taking advantage of recent melted snows, up to 15 people on horseback, a helicopter and additional volunteers on foot launched a renewed search for the 40-year-old woman early Monday morning. 

The woman was the subject of a three-day search following the accident.  At the time, investigators theorized she had become dazed and disoriented from the crash and may have walked from the scene seeking help.  Deputies responding to the crash found footprints in the snow leading away from the car and a single shoe they believe was hers.

Searchers probed snow banks for days, yielding few clues.  The LaSalle County Coroner's office determined that the woman's husband, 41-year-old Dale Shannon, had a blood alcohol level of .266,  more than three times the legal limit.

In tiny Ransom, Ill., the couple's hometown, a jug still sits on the bar at Jerry's Tap, collecting donations.  The proceeds will now go to taking care of the four children they leave behind.

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