Skeletal Remains Are Missing Woman

( – After 16 years of her vanishing from Springfield, Illinois, a group of specialists has confirmed that the skeletal remains discovered at a residence in the 2100 block of South Grand Avenue East late Monday morning belonged to Michelle Renee “Shelly” Bianco.

Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon affirmed the identification following a post-mortem examination, which involved a forensic pathologist and anthropologist.

Allmon also mentioned in a news release from his office that an official cause and manner of death are still pending.

Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell stated that the case now transitions into a death investigation. “We’re interviewing anybody and everybody connected to the case,” Campbell said.

Bianco would have turned 59 and was last spotted alive on April 5, 2008, near South Grand and Wheeler avenues. She was walking with her cousin in the area when a man driving a black Pontiac offered Bianco a ride to her home in the Lincoln Place Mobile Home Park off Old Route 36.

After struggling to secure a ride for hours, the cousin informed Sangamon County Sheriff’s Deputies that the man in the Pontiac called Bianco by her name.

The family alerted Springfield Police the following day about Bianco’s disappearance, and a missing person’s report was filed on April 8.

Additionally, Springfield Police were notified about “personal items” discovered in a crawl space in the South Grand Avenue house near where she was last seen.

Subsequently, Sangamon County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the house because it fell under the department’s purview. According to Campbell, the items discovered included a purse containing documents with Bianco’s name on them.

The situation unfolded further early this week when Illinois State Police investigators found skeletal remains at the house shortly after noon.

An anthropologist from the Illinois State Museum confirmed the remains as human before Allmon was summoned to the scene.

Over the years, sheriff’s deputies have pursued numerous leads, and the family even enlisted the services of a private investigator, though no resolution was reached.

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