GLEN ELLYN – The death of a 33-year-old Wheaton woman reported missing within the last week is being investigated as a homicide with a suspect in custody, according to a news release from the Glen Ellyn Police Department.
The body of Linda Valez was discovered late Saturday afternoon, buried in a clearing in the wooded area near Panfish Park in Glen Ellyn, the release said.
The DuPage County Coroner had not determined the official cause of death as of the afternoon of Sept. 30, but the release said there is evidence that Valez was stabbed.
A man has been taken into custody and is being questioned, according to the release. It is not believed that the attack was random and there is no evidence to suggest that there is a continuing threat to the public.
Valez had been using the overnight facilities at the DuPage PADS homeless shelter in Wheaton since July 2012, said PADS Executive Director Carol Simler. Recently, she had received job support and counseling services from the shelter.
"She had a new job, and everyone here was very happy about that," Simler said. "We are praying for Linda and her family, and we are just holding them in our minds and in our hearts."
Glen Ellyn police officers were patrolling wooded areas and parks in the village on Saturday in response to the recent missing person report, the release said.
While on patrol at Panfish Park, a police officer noticed signs that indicated foot traffic and other activity had occurred in a forested area of the park, leading the Glen Ellyn Police Department to call in the DuPage County Sheriff's Office Evidence Team and the Wheaton Police Department to assist in an investigation of the area, according to the release.
A search of the area throughout the day on Saturday led to the discovery of Valez's body, the release said.
The DuPage County Major Crimes Task Force has been activated to investigate this case. The task force includes investigators from law enforcement agencies throughout DuPage County who assist in major case investigations, according to the release.
The criminal investigation is ongoing. No further information is available at this time.