Murder Charges Filed in NIU Student's Death

Suspect extradited back to Illinois

View Comments ()



    A Dekalb man is charged with murder in the death of Toni Keller. (Published Friday, Oct. 29, 2010)

    A Dekalb man has been charged with murder in the death of 18-year-old Northern Illinois University student Antinette "Toni" Keller.

    William "Billy" Curl, 34, of Dekalb faces five counts of first-degree murder, criminal sexual assault and arson.

    DeKalb Police Describe Discovery of Remains

    [CHI] DeKalb Police Describe Discovery of Remains
    DeKalb Chief of Police Bill Feithen and Brad Hoey, NIU media relations, talk about the discovery of a body following the disappearance of NIU student Antinette "Toni" Keller. (Published Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010)

    The 18-year-old Plainfield freshman was last seen Oct. 14 when she left her residence hall to work on some art in a wooded area near campus.

    That's when Dekalb police believe Curl, who was a frequent visitor to the park, attacked Keller, calling it a "crime of opportunity." The victim's body was burned so badly that they weren't sure at first that the remains were human.

    NIU Holds Vigil for Missing Student

    [CHI] NIU Holds Vigil for Missing Student
    Hundreds of students turned out Tuesday evening for a memorial service for Toni Keller as the investigation into her disappearance is reclassified as a homicide. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010)

    Investigators because suspicious of Curl when he didn't show up for a scheduled interview. Curl allegedly fled to Mexico, and crossed the border back into the U.S., ending up in Covington, Louisiana where he was looking for work as a day laborer. He was arrested at a Covington hotel, questioned, and extradited back to Illinois Friday afternoon.

    Curl was being held on a $5 million bond. Officials said it was too early to determine whether they would seek the death penalty in case, although two of the first-degree murder charges potentially qualify.

    Investigators are asking anyone who was near Prairie Park on October 14 and has information about the case, to call 815-748-8407, 815-753-8477 Crimestopperspers at 815-895-3272.