Body of missing LaSalle Co. mom found

Tanya Shannon, 40, disappeared after a car crash in LaSalle County after leaving on December 4, 2010. Courtesy: La Salle County Sheriff's Department

January 3, 2011 4:46:05 PM PST
Search teams in LaSalle County found the body of a mother of four who vanished following a car crash that killed her husband.

The body of 40-year-old Tanya Shannon was found about three-quarters of a mile from the crash site.

It was as the couple returned home from an holiday party driving on Grand Ridge Mazon Blacktop between East 26th and East 27th roads that their car spun out. Police say Tanya Shannon was riding with her husband when their car hit a light pole December 5 just before 2 a.m. Dale Shannon, 41, died instantly.

Investigators found Tanya Shannon's slipper and footprints in the snow leading away from the car, but the snow made search efforts difficult.

Authorities found the body in a field near 27th and 20th roads.

The missing Ransom, Ill., mother of four disappeared in Brookfield Township. She was last seen wearing a red ball gown and a gray hoodie.

"She is wearing a gray hoodie, she is as described, red dress as well as a gray hoodie. The gray hoodie looked like it's about waist length. She's wearing it zipped up. She's got a hand bag, that we knew she had, sitting right next to her," said LaSalle Co. Sheriff Thomas Templeton.

Sheriff's deputies say that somehow after the accident Tanya Shannon became disoriented and walked in the wrong direction. She was trying to get to a nearby power plant, toward what she thought were lights.

At the time of the accident, it was cold and dark, and it's unknown yet what injuries Tanya Shannon may have suffered in the crash.

Word of Monday's discovery is just what many of the 450 residents of Ransom did not want to hear. Residents of the village roughly 70 miles southwest of Chicago had feared the worst but hoped for the best.

"It's just been very hard not knowing where she was at. And closure for the family, I think the community all wanted that," said neighbor and friend Karen Ermel.

Concern remains for the daughters, ages 4 to 15, that the Shannons now leave behind. Jerry's Tap is just one place where locals have collected donations in support of the children.

"The kids are still hoping and anticipating their mom's gonna come home," said Jerry Yedinak, Jerry's Tap. "And now we've got the finalization, but it's not what we were hoping for."

The body was first spotted by personnel riding in a helicopter operated by Chicago's WBBM-AM.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.