As family members, fellow students and friends of 18-year-old Antinette “Toni” Keller anxiously waits to hear if the body found in a park is that of the NIU freshman, the campus remains on alert.
The mood in DeKalb is somber as both students, and the family of the missing Plainfield teen, try to come to terms with what happened.
Keller disappeared Oct. 14 after telling her friends she was going for a walk toward Prairie Park, a forested 150-acre area just south of Illinois Highway 38.
Saturday night, DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen said investigators, with the DeKalb County Major Case Squad, found human remains in Prairie Park, along with what appeared to be some of Keller's belongings.
"Basically, Toni is gone." Keller’s cousin, Mary Tarling tells the Sun-Times, "We don't have her anymore. Sometimes the details don't matter when you bring it down to that. You can't fix that."
On campus Sunday, a few students gathered near the housing complex, where Keller had lived, talked about her as they tried to comfort each other.
After the discovery of the body, police and NIU officials increased police presence on campus, restricted access to residence halls, and expanded the campus safety escort service to 24 hours.
DeKalb County investigators want anyone with information about the case to call (815) 748-8407.
Update: A previous version of this article stats that NIU was "on lockdown." That is not the case. NBC regrets the error.