CHANNAHON, Ill.—The human remains discovered May 20 in the Des Plaines River were identified by authorities today as that of a male, ruling out speculation they could be those of missing Will County women Stacy Peterson or Lisa Stebic.
DNA testing by the Illinois State Police Forensic Crime Lab determined that the partial skeletal remains were that of an unidentified male, and authorities said an investigation is underway to find the identity of the person.
The remains, which consisted of a rib cage, spinal column, and partial left and right femur bones, were found by a clean-up crew working along the river near Channahon just west of Interstate Highway 55.
A preliminary autopsy performed last week could not determine whether the body was that of a man or woman, its race, or identity.
The remains included shreds of jeans containing a small amount of money, which a source said was about $20.
On Saturday, Illinois State Police found two more bones not far from where the body was discovered near Big Basin Marina. Those remains are with an anthropologist for evaluation, said State Police Sgt. Tom Burek. He declined to comment further.
Peterson vanished from her Bolingbrook home in October 2007, and Stebic disappeared from her Plainfield home in April 2007. Both lived not far from where the remains were found.
"I think we left ourselves open to this possibility. We're disappointed," Pam Bosco, a spokeswoman for Peterson's family, said today. "But we're still moving forward, doing the searches, doing the investigation. We're continuing. We're still hopeful that eventually we'll find Stacy."
Peterson's husband, Drew Peterson, is a suspect in her disappearance. The former Bolingbrook police sergeant is in jail on murder charges in the 2004 death of his previous wife, Kathleen Savio. Plainfield police have named Craig Stebic a "person of interest" in his wife's case. Both men deny any wrongdoing.