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Champaign Co. Authorities identify Jane Doe as Galva woman

The discovery was made through genetic genealogy
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 11:07 PM CDT
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CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (KWQC) - The Champaign County Sherriff’s office announced Tuesday that they have identified a Jane Doe that was discovered in 1995 after what authorities determine to be a homicide. Authorities identified the woman as Keri Lyn Wyant of Galva. The Sheriff’s Office said they were able to identify her through genetic genealogy.

Authorities say in May 2019 producers from a television series titled “Unknown Doe Project” were interested in learning the identity of Wyant through genetic genealogy. The production team of the series said they would cover any additional costs of DNA extraction from Wyant’s remains. On April 30, 2020, the production team’s genealogists told the Sherriff’s Office were constructing family trees from the evidence and found that multiple family trees intersected. From there, they were able to learn that the remains belonged to someone with the last name Wyant. The sheriff’s office investigation found that the person was Keri Wyant.

Then with help from the Stark County Sherriff, they were referred to one of Wyant’s relatives. Following that, they then got DNA samples from Wyant’s parents that were able to confirm that Jane Doe was Keri Wyant in September 2020.

Wyant was born in Galesburg on October 18, 1971, and attended Galva High School from 1989 to 1990 but did not graduate. Authorities are unsure of Wyant’s whereabouts from late 1985 to 1988 after she left her parents' home in 1985 to temporarily live with relatives. Wyant also had a son born in 1994 that passed away in 2001.

The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office is also looking for help with locating more information regarding Wyant. That includes the names of her friends, acquaintances, or anyone who had interactions with her. If you have any information that could help solve Wyant’s homicide, call Detective Dwayne Roelfs or Lt. Curt Apperson at the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office at (217) 384-1213.

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