A heavily pregnant woman was found floating in Lake Michigan after being stabbed to death.
Police with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office have confirmed that the body is that of 19-year-old Yarianna Wheeler, a missing Chicago woman who was between six to nine months pregnant.
Authorities confirmed that Yarianna had sustained several “sharp force” injuries to her body, and her death is being treated as a homicide. However, a full post-mortem examination to determine her official cause of death is still pending.
The announcement comes almost one week after Wheeler’s body was found floating in the water, where it had reportedly been for between seven and 12 days.
Her body was found by a fisherman on the lake at around 3pm on August 15, who immediately informed the authorities, according to local media.
By August 20, a sketch was released by the Sheriff’s Office to show what they believed the victim may have looked like when she was alive, as they asked for helpt to identify her.
Following this, cops received several dozen tips from members of the public, one of which led them to Wheeler, who was captured on CCTV entering a store on what’s believed to be the last day she was seen alive.
Lt. Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office told local media: “When they saw the image, they knew they were on the right track.
“From there, they were able to obtain dental records, which led to her ultimately being identified.”
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is now asking for the public to provide any information about her death.
Also, just hours after Wheeler’s body was found, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter discovered the body of a man, identified as 49-year-old Martin Mendoza, of Waukesha, Wisconsin, also floating in the lake.
Officials say it appears he drowned, and the two incidents are not related.