The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 25, 2013

Body I.D.’d as missing woman

Man discovers remains in dense woods

BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — A body discovered during the weekend has been identified as a missing Hoopeston woman.

Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson issued a press release Monday confirming the identity as 33-year-old Amanda Walters-Pentecost. Walters-Pentecost was reported missing on Feb. 1 in Hoopeston.

The body was discovered during the noon hour Sunday in a wooded area southeast of Hoopeston. An autopsy was conducted Monday morning.

According to Johnson, the preliminary cause of death for Walters-Pentecost was exposure to cold weather.

Johnson said the preliminary autopsy results did not give an indication of how long Walters-Pentecost had been dead.

Capt. Rod Kaag, chief investigator for the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department, said there was an indentation in the ground where the woman had been lying — indicating she had been there some time.

According to local reports, low temperatures were only in the high teens in the first days following Walters-Pentecost’s disappearance.

He also described the area where she was found as thick and dense with a lot of limbs down.

The sheriff’s department was called to the location after a man checking his deer stand discovered the body.

The location where the discovery was made is about three-quarters of a mile off of Illinois Route 9 in wooded farmland along a creek that runs just east of Hoopeston.

From the beginning, police said there were no indications that Walters-Pentecost — a mother of two children — was the victim of a crime.

Johnson said on Monday that there were no indications of foul play.

According to police, Walters-Pentecost’s purse was found at one point since she was reported missing. Her cellular phone had not been found.

According to Kaag, friends and early reports by Hoopeston and Iroquois County law enforcement indicated Walters-Pentecost had been picked up after wandering away on several previous instances.

Toxicology tests on samples taken during the autopsy are still pending in the case.

Johnson said the timeframe for toxicology test results can range from as little as four weeks to as many as eight weeks.