Crime

Custom dental grill may be key in identifying body found shot and burned, police say

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person they say was killed earlier this week in Washington Park by releasing photos of a unique dental grill the person was wearing.
Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person they say was killed earlier this week in Washington Park by releasing photos of a unique dental grill the person was wearing.

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person they say was killed earlier this week by releasing photos of a unique dental grill the person was wearing.

The body was found “burned beyond recognition” in the aftermath of a fire at a Washington Park home Monday night. The person had been shot and was found under a pile of burning tires, Master Sgt. Michael Lewis of the Illinois State Police said Thursday.

Police believe the person was a man and between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet 1 inch tall. They have not determined a race of the body, Lewis wrote in a news release.

The grill, a removable dental prosthesis, they recovered is from both the upper and lower part of the person’s mouth. As it is a custom grill, they hope someone will recognize and help investigators identify the body.

“While we are using traditional forensic means to identify the body, we believe someone will recognize this piece and could more quickly identify this individual,” Lewis wrote.

Lewis said ISP is investigating the incident as a homicide.

Anyone with information about this case can contact Illinois State Police Special Agent Travis Irwin at 618-484-5189.

Hana Muslic: 618-239-2626, @h_muslic

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.

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