Murder Charges Filed in NIU Student's Death

Suspect extradited back to Illinois

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.

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.

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.

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