Body found in burning car near Gurnee identified as Milwaukee woman

Lake County authorities identified a body found inside a burning car near Gurnee late Saturday as a 56-year-old Wisconsin woman who had been reported missing earlier in the day.

Lake County sheriff's office spokesman Sgt. Chris Covelli said Lake County Coroner Howard Cooper used dental records to positively identify Kathleen Ryan's remains.

Covelli said Ryan was known to be traveling from her home in Milwaukee to a basketball game in Mundelein where her son was coaching, according to relatives. They said she was believed to be traveling alone.

Covelli said the son told investigators that he never saw his mother at the game.

Firefighters were dispatched to the 36500 block of North Route 41 in Warren Township near Gurnee just before 10 p.m. Saturday for a report of a vehicle on fire. Once the flames were extinguished, Ryan's body was discovered inside.

Investigators began tracking the vehicle and determined Ryan's relatives had notified Wisconsin authorities she was missing and in possession of the car when last seen. The car was found about nine miles north of where the basketball game was being played.

Covelli said investigators from the sheriff's office, state fire marshal and Milwaukee Police Department are working together "to determine what happened."

Anyone with information about Kathleen Ryan or her death are encouraged to contact investigators at (847) 377-4159.

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