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Lake Michigan Jane Doe identified as pregnant teen from Chicago, investigated as homicide

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Posted at 2:06 PM, Aug 28, 2021

LAKE COUNTY — A Jane Doe who was found in Lake Michigan on August 15 has been identified as a 19-year-old who was living in Chicago.

Yarianna G. Wheeler, originally from Bellwood, was six to seven months pregnant when she was found. Police are investigating her death as a homicide.

Officials with Lake County Sheriff's Office say they received dozens of tips from residents about who the Jane Doe might be. One of the tips led to a missing 19-year-old woman living in Chicago, Yarianna Wheeler, and after dental records were compared, the Lake County Coroner's Office confirmed it was a match to the Jane Doe.

They say the autopsy showed she had several sharp force injuries on her body, and the cause of death is pending. It's believed she was in the water for no more than seven to 12 days before she was recovered on August 15.

Anyone with information is asked to call Lake County Sheriff's Detectives at 847-377-4148.

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