Death Of Missing Aurora Woman Ruled A Homicide

CBS 2's Marie Saavedra reports Aurora police said she was last seen by her sister inside the apartment they shared in the 800 block of North Randall Road on May 10, 2003.

Video Transcript

IRIKA SARGENT: 18 years ago, she took a phone call outside her Aurora apartment and never returned. Friends and family of Tyesha Bell have missed her every day since. And after a terrible wait, an awful discovery. CBS 2's Marie Saavedra is live outside Aurora Police headquarters with the news Bell's loved ones always feared. Marie.

MARIE SAAVEDRA: Irika, it was May 10, 2003, and Bell was just 22 years old when she stepped out of her apartment that she shared with her sister to take that phone call. She left the TV on, and candles were burning. Her two young children were with family. There were no signs that she was leaving. We now know that she was killed.

On December 11, just this past December, Kane County coroner recovered remains in a wooded section of the county. Now they will not say where because they say this is still an active investigation. We do know that the remains were in a shallow grave, and it was DNA testing that led detectives to her identity earlier this month.

Family and friends were told in just the last 24 hours that Bell had been found. They attended today's announcement by police, many of them wiping away tears and letting their emotions do the talking. They and investigators are now desperate to find who took Bell's life.

JACK FICHTEL: While we followed up on numerous leads over the past 18 years, our frustration mounts considering that we believe someone knows what happened and has yet to come forward.

MARIE SAAVEDRA: Now there has never been an arrest in Bell's disappearance. Now this is a homicide investigation, so it is upgraded. And there is a tip line specifically for this case. We have that number and many more resources for research if people would like to check it out. It is up right now under the story at CBSChicago.com. Irika?

IRIKA SARGENT: All right. Well, Marie, was there anything found with Bell's remains that helped investigators in any way identify her body?

MARIE SAAVEDRA: It was interesting. The coroner noted that there was clothing and also some personal effects, but none of them were enough to be able to ID her on the spot. So ultimately, what investigators did was take one of the bones to the state police crime lab. They used DNA from that to run it up against a missing persons DNA database. That's where they found the match with what Aurora Police had gathered from Bell's case.

IRIKA SARGENT: All right. Marie Saavedra, thank you.