Body found along river in Illinois

May 21, 2009 7:23:44 AM PDT
A cleaning crew in suburban Chicago found a badly decomposed human body on the shores of the Des Plaines River on Wednesday, prompting speculation the remains were related to one of a couple of long-running, high-profile missing persons cases in the area. Illinois State Police Sgt. Tom Burek confirmed the remains were human, but declined to say if the body was male or female. The Will County coroner will perform an autopsy on Thursday morning.

Burek said he would not speculate about whether the remains belong to Stacy Peterson or Lisa Stebic, two missing Will County women who disappeared in 2007 and whose cases have garnered national attention.

Peterson's husband, Drew Peterson, is scheduled to appear in court Thursday on charges he killed his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004.

Savio's death, originally ruled an accidental drowning, was reclassified as a homicide after her body was exhumed and an autopsy conducted following Stacy Peterson's disappearance in October 2007.

Drew Peterson, being held at the Will County Jail on $20 million bail, has maintained he believes Stacy Peterson left him for another man and is most likely living outside Illinois.

Stebic, a mother of two, was last seen in Plainfield in April 2007. Authorities have named Stebic's husband Craig a "person of interest" in her disappearance but he is not charged with any crime. He has denied any involvement.

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