During a search for the 27-year-old missing college student Sheila Khalili of Schaumberg, Illinois, divers found a car and a body submerged in a retention pond along Interstate 57 near Bourbonnais early Thursday morning, CBS Chicago reports. In an email, Thomas Glasgow, Khalili’s family attorney, confirmed that the body was the missing Schaumberg student.
“The family of Sheila Khalili extends their deepest thanks to the efforts of law enforcement, the media, Olivet Nazarene University as well as the many friends and relatives that contributed their time and efforts to the search for the recovery of Sheila. The location of the car and the recovery of Sheila’s body gives the family closure and they understand that without the help of law enforcement, the media, and the public, they would never have closure in her disappearance.”
Khalili was reported missing last week after she failed to return to her Schaumberg home for the summer break. The staff at Olivete Nazarne University, where Khalili attended as a nursing student, stated that she left campus on May 4 after turning in her key to the resident assistant.
Police officials say the following day, Kahlili — who was in her final year at ONU — went to a friend’s house in the neighboring village of Bradley, driving a 2016 Toyota Corolla, but it appears she never made it to her destination.
Kahlili’s family reported her missing and offered a $20,000 reward for her safe return. However, the search for the missing nursing student came to a poignant end when a Kankakee County Sheriff’s deputy discovered Kahlili’s body.
At around 4 a.m. on Thursday, a deputy noticed a bumper and a mirror on the side of the roadway along Interstate 57, near mile marker 317. Divers were called to the scene and recovered the missing Schaumberg student’s body from the retention pond.
Preliminary findings determined that Khalili and her vehicle ended up in a retention pond after a single-vehicle accident, but an investigation is underway to uncover what happened to Khalili.
After learning that the nursing student was found dead in her vehicle, which was submerged in a retention pond, after disappearing last week, Olivete Nazarne University released the following statement:
“The community is shocked and deeply saddened by this news. We grieve the loss of such a bright young student whose warm heart and passion for serving others were so evident in her life. We are continuing to pray for her family and friends.
“The ONU family is surrounding Sheila’s family, friends and Sheila’s nursing faculty with our thoughts and prayers.”
The news of the missing Schaumberg student’s death quickly spread through campus. Fellow nursing students gathered and said a prayer for Khalili’s family during a vigil.
One of Kahlili’s classmate, Kadie Nicely, stated that she was their “rock.” She went on to say, “there’s only 25 of us in our program, and we’re such a close family. We know God has her. She became a nurse today. She’s up there looking down on us. She touched so many lives here and her patients. We know she’s going to be with us, and she’ll be walking across the stage with us in December, we have no doubt.”
Nicely went on to say that the pair were planning to graduate from ONU’s nursing program in December. They had even made plans to go to the beach later this summer. She described Kahlili as “very bubbly, very passionate and so positive… She was very motivational. She always just had the magic touch with her patients, left her patients with a smile, very caring and kind.”
Kahlili’s body was scheduled for an autopsy on Thursday at the Kankakee County coroner’s office.
[Featured Image by Sandra Torres/Facebook]