SPRING VALLEY — Grief counselors were made available to Hall High School students this week after they learned of the homicide of their former classmate, Diamond J. Bradley, 16, who had been reported missing at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 24.
"Grief counseling will be available at Hall High School during this week, and we will be prepared to offer the support needed during this very difficult time," Hall High School Superintendent Jay McCracken said.
"If assistance is needed, please call the district office at 815-664-2100," McCracken said.
According to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, at 12:57 p.m. Saturday, a body was found in a ditch along County Highway 850 North in Granville Township. The person was pronounced dead at the scene.
The body was later identified as Bradley, of Spring Valley, who was last seen at her residence at 10 p.m. on Jan. 23 and was reported missing the following day.
An autopsy was conducted on Sunday. Authorities said the death is being investigated as a homicide.
Putnam County Death Investigator Bob Cofoid reported his preliminary investigation indicates Bradley died from multiple injuries. The final results of the autopsy and toxicology tests are pending, and it might take four to six weeks before results are known.
According to McCracken, Bradley had been a student at Hall High School up until this past October.
"Our entire Hall High School community has been deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic loss of one of our recent Hall High School students, Diamond Bradley. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends," McCracken said.
At a Monday afternoon press conference held at the Spring Valley Police Department, Putnam County Sheriff Kevin Doyle said investigators have conducted numerous interviews and will be continuing to do so, along with following any leads.
"This investigation is still in its early stages, and we feel releasing too much information at this time would be detrimental to the investigation," Doyle said.
Doyle also said future releases of information will originate from the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.
"At this time, we believe this incident is isolated to the victim. It's been a horrible tragedy that this family and this community has had to endure," Spring Valley Police Chief Kevin Sangston said.
Anyone with any information should contact their local law enforcement agency.
The death is being investigated by the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, the Spring Valley Police Department, the LaSalle County Sheriff's Office, the Bureau County Sheriff's Office, the LaSalle Police Department, Tri-DENT, the Peoria County Sheriff's Office, the Putnam County State's Attorney, the Bureau County State's Attorney, the Putnam County Death Investigator and the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services.