Body parts found in East Alton identified as Crystal Terpening

6:13 PM, Nov 5, 2010   |    comments
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East Alton, IL (KSDK) -- The Major Case Squad identified the body parts found in East Alton as belonging to Crystal Terpening, 26, who was declared missing earlier October 22.

Major Case Squad Deputy Commander Brad Wells said a private contractor hired by the Olin Corporation was clearing the field on Thursday morning the body parts were discovered in the 600 block of West St. Louis Avenue, which is behind a strip mall.

Wells said Terpening left her house on October 12, but investigators believe she was not killed until later. They have reason to believe she may have been at different locations in East Alton, Alton, or Wood River in the following days.

East Alton body part found - PHOTOS 

The Madison County Sheriff's Department notified the media about Terpening's disappearance on Wednesday.

Wells said Terpening had a history of drug abuse and it was ongoing in her life.  Terpening's family says she was a former drug user, in recovery.  They say she just got out of rehab.

Investigators want to hear from anyone who knows where Terpening went after she left her house, and said during the course of the investigation, they will track down anyone who had contact with her during that time period.

Terpening has a child and was not employed at the time of her death.

Wells said a cause of death has not been determined, but it is a homicide investigation.

Wells said it is possible that the heavy equipment in the area brought in to do the clearing of the brush could have caused the dismemberment, but nothing has been ruled out.

The Illinois State Police crime lab used fingerprints to determine the body parts belonged to Terpening.

An Illinois State Police crime scene team went back out with members of the Major Case Squad and area law enforcement officers on Friday morning to search the grassy field for more body parts and evidence in the field where Terpening was found. They also plan to search a wood pile.

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the Major Case Squad at (618) 296-4478 or if you wish to remain anonymous call (618) 296-3000. 








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