Updated: Woman's body, found near Mahomet, identified

Updated: Woman's body, found near Mahomet, identified

URBANA — Police are trying to figure out how a 23-year-old woman who hadn't been seen in nine months was never reported missing before a fisherman discovered her body in rural Mahomet late last month.

Police said on Friday that human remains found on Aug. 29 along County Road 2650 N, about a mile east of Illinois 47 near the Sangamon River, were identified as those of Kelsie Blackford, 23, who police say was last known to live in Villa Grove.

Blackford's Facebook page lists her hometown as Sidney.

Champaign County Sheriff's Capt. Allen Jones said Ms. Blackford had not been reported missing but was last seen by a friend in late November. Officials are calling her death suspicious but do not know yet how she died.

Police are hoping to receive more information from the public to fill in the pieces of what happened to Ms. Blackford between when she was last seen and when her body was discovered. Jones said police had already received one tip not long after Friday's announcement.

There was no record of her disappearance in any database, Jones said.

"There was no report filed with anybody," Jones said. "That leaves a lot of questions to be answered as to her whereabouts."

Jones said Ms. Blackford has parents in Villa Grove. He did not know if she was employed.

She was not married, Jones said, and had one child. He said he did not know with whom or where the child was on Friday afternoon.

"When you have somebody missing this long, there's a lot of questions and we don't have the answers and that's why we need help," Jones said.

Jones said identification for Ms. Blackford was found near her body, so police have been working since the remains were discovered under the assumption it was Ms. Blackford. He said the coroner's office confirmed that Friday.

Jones said no suspects have been identified.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff's office at 384-1213 Champaign County Crimestoppers at 217-373-8477. Information may also be sent anonymously online at http://www.373tips.com or by cellphone text message by sending CCTIP plus the information to CRIMES (274637).

Crimestoppers will pay a reward if the information leads to an arrest. Cash rewards are also paid for information on other felony crimes or fugitives in the Champaign County area.

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lebloom wrote on September 14, 2013 at 10:09 am

Just how does a person this age go missing for 9 months and NOBODY misses her?  What about her employer, her parents?   Something is very wrong here.

Cornfedgirl wrote on September 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm

From what I understand, this girl's family lost her to drugs a long time ago.   I grew up knowing her family in Villa Grove.  So sad...they were good people.

conehead wrote on September 15, 2013 at 9:09 am

The media sure knows how to twist a story. She did not "go missing" like a person who is seen everyday goes missing. She was a drug addict who had been living with whom ever she could and did not hold a job. Her beautiful son whom she loved dearly has been cared for by her parents who are greiving the loss of a beautiful sweet young girl who had her life taken from her by heroin addiction. The media should be ashamed of thermselves. It's bad enough to lose a child but to have to hear how this story has been twisted and made her parents into the bad guys is outragous. So so sad!   

wayner63 wrote on September 16, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Conehead, your comments are right on.  Sad to see how the media has twisted this story.