A 19-year-old pregnant woman found dead in Lake Michigan near Waukegan earlier this month is believed to have been murdered, detectives said.
“Due to the diligence of Lake County and surrounding area residents, sheriff’s detectives received dozens of tips as to the possible identity of ‘Lake Michigan Jane Doe,'” Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Christopher Covelli said on Friday.
One of those tips led to a missing 19-year-old woman who was residing in Chicago, Covelli said.
Sheriff’s detectives obtained the dental records for the 19-year-old and the Lake County Coroner’s Office is working to confirm the identity.
An autopsy showed the woman had been stabbed. She had “several sharp force injuries” on her body, Covelli said.
Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the case as a homicide. The official cause of death is pending.
“Detectives feel confident the missing 19-year-old Chicago woman is ‘Lake Michigan Jane Doe,’ however, public identification is being withheld pending official confirmation,” Covelli said.
On August 15, a fisherman on Lake Michigan spotted a body floating in the water around 3 p.m. three miles southeast of the Waukegan Harbor.
She was six to seven months pregnant. Detectives believe the woman was in the water for no more than 7-12 days.
Covelli said the woman could have entered the water anywhere from the northern Indiana shoreline to the northern Illinois shoreline of Lake Michigan.
A sketch of the woman was created by Mount Prospect Police Detective Dirk Ollech and released on August 20.
Even though detectives believe they have identified the woman, they are still asking for the public’s help in providing information on the suspect or suspects involved in the woman’s death.
Those with tips are asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at 847-377-4000.