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updated: 4/9/2014 12:12 PM

DNA testing may identify missing Des Plaines woman

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  • Debra Fredricksen

    Debra Fredricksen


It could be several more days, or even weeks, before authorities can determine through DNA testing whether a body found Sunday along the shores of Lake Michigan in Evanston is that of a Des Plaines woman missing since late February, police said Wednesday.

Because of the state of the adult woman's body when it was discovered by a person walking along the lakeshore near Clark Sheridan Park, authorities are comparing DNA samples from that body to those of Debra Fredricksen, Evanston Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott said.

Fredricksen, 61, was reported missing by her husband Feb. 22 after several calls to her cellphone went unanswered. That same night, Evanston police located her car parked near Elliot Park, in the area of Dempster Street and the lakefront.

Her last reported sighting was Feb. 21 in the drive-through of a McDonald's restaurant in Morton Grove. Police have said they do not suspect foul play in the disappearance.

Des Plaines Police Cmdr. Randy Akin said working through the Illinois State Police crime lab to get a comparison of DNA samples could take months, so the department instead plans to send samples to a private lab that works on missing persons cases through the Cook County medical examiner's office.

"It could be a few days or weeks," Akin said. "It's not immediate, but it's much, much faster than working through the state lab."

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