IL - Tammy Tracey, 19, murdered, Rockford, 27 May 1987 *arrest in 2020*

mama2one

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Hello! I posted this in the Ask Question's sticky first, I wanted to know what else I could do. So I'm now asking if any of you may be able to get info or send me in the right direction. Thank you in advance!



Newbie here with a question! I have been trying to find info on a cold case in my hometown from the 80's, I keep hitting a dead end! What else can I do? Here's the resources I've used/tried & the info I have, Thanks in advance!

~Tammy Tracey,19F, Rockford Illinois Missing 5/27/87 from Searls Park, found 4/11/88 Sugar River Forest Preserve

~I've tried utlizing the internet, but have only found a few articles

~Searched for her name here, nada

~Visited the Winnebago County Sheriff's website, but they don't list cases

~I'm not local anylonger, so can't go into the library to view newspaper articles....the local paper website I can't get to bring up any info in archives either!!

~Family doesn't speak of her anymore, so that's been a dead end as well.

**Don't know where else to look***
 

Cubby

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I did a search and there are very few articles on google or google archives. not much out there on Tammy's case at all.
 

Vikusha

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Here what I found:

One of the most well known cases in Rockford happened at Searls Park. On May 27, 1987 Tammy Tracey washed her car at a friends house then came to the park to wax it. Fifteen years later detectives continue to look for her killer.

For eleven months a special task force combed Searls Park several times. A reward fund was built to over $30,000. And finally on April 16, 11 months after Tammy disappeared skeletal remains found in Sugar River Forest Preserve in Winnebago County. They were positively identified to that of Tammy Tracey. Rockford Deputy Chief of Detectives Dominic Lasparro says this is a case police want to solve and know people in the community know what happened.

Source:
http://www.wifr.com/home/headlines/239566.html

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Skeleton Identified As Missing Woman
April 17, 1988

A skeleton discovered in the Sugar River Forest Preserve was identified Saturday as the remains of Tammy Tracey, a 19-year-old Rockford receptionist who had been missing almost a year, authorities said. Rockford police had notified Tracey's family Friday that the remains might be those of their daughter after a hiker discovered the skeleton. At that point, they weren`t "absolutely certain" the body was Tracey's but did not want the family to learn of the discovery through the media, police said.

Her body had been in the preserve, about 15 miles northwest of Rockford, at least several months, said Lt. Jim Mays of the Rockford Police Department.

Source:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1988-04-17/news/8803110294_1_skeleton-missing-remains
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/keyword/skeleton

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Why did she want to wax her car at the park and not at their friends place or near friends place?

Hmm.. By the way... what happened to her car?
 

mama2one

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I've found those artices, plus a few more, but thank you!

I have the same questions you have, and I don't know where to turn to find them.
 

HopefulOptimistic77

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I am from the Rockford area and I was only ten when this happened. I remember her name still to this day. It is sad to see that this case is still unsolved.
 

Fiddlehead

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A bit more info here: http://ilcoldcases.blogspot.com/2013/09/tammy-tracey-52787-rockford-il.html

Tammy Tracey, 5/27/87, Rockford IL
http://www.wrex.com/story/8424978/unsolved-murders-the-tammy-tracey-case

Tammy Tracey, a 19-year old Auburn High School graduate and avid golfer and baseball catcher. She was last seen driving off to Searls Park to wax her car. Deputy Chief of Rockford Police Greg Lindmark says, "She was reported missing in the morning, then later on in the afternoon her vehicle was discovered at Searls Park.' Tammy's mother, Linda Tracey, found the 1979 two-door black Oldsmobile. It was locked and there weren't any signs of a struggle. Fred Speer, who worked for WROK, covered the case. "At the outset, it looked like it was going to be so easy." But that wasn't the case. An exhaustive manhunt, including Rockford, Winnebago County Sheriff's, and Illinois State Police, turned up nothing. DeCoster says, "Her family, as I recall, took out a billboards around Rockford with a very poignant message. And nobody knew if she was still alive, what had become of her." That question was answered 11 months later on April 15, 1988, when a hiker found Tammy dead in a remote part of the Sugar River Forest Preserve. Speer describes how she was killed. "Multiple weapons. Gunshot and an icepick. That tells me overkill." Tammy had been shot once in the head and stabbed in the chest. Relatives say at one point police said they were 99 and a half percent sure they knew who did it. But to this day, no one's been arrested. Lindmark says, "Even today, we'll periodically get calls on it. Every bit of information that we get is followed up on." Still, questions continue to swirl. Speer says, "Then there's the flip side of the coin, was that her intent? Her only intent to go and wax her car? Or did she go there to wax her car and meet somebody?" For some people, hope that case will be solved is dimming. But others believe that light still shines brightly. Lindmark says, "I really believe we're only one tip away, or just a little bit of information from solving not only this case but a lot of other cases." DeCoster says, "I think somebody out there knows something. And talking about it 20 years later will only help." If you have any information that might help solve the case, call the Rockford detective's bureau at 987-5878. Family members hope a $10,000 reward will help lure information.
 

STANDREID

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Didn't anyone at the park see her? That seems odd.
 

Gardener1850

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I found an article with a detailed timeline of events around the search for Tammy Tracey and the identification of her remains. This is from the Rockford Register Star, Sunday, April 17, 1988. I hope this helps bring some new info to light.
attachment.php
 

Gardener1850

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Another article, also from the Register Star, April 17, 1988:
attachment.php
 

STANDREID

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A little tardy but 30 years-too long.
 

cisabella28

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I'm a Rockford native (don't live there anymore), but I still keep up with their local news and I saw this today: Rockford family still fighting to solve murder of Tammy Tracey

They have put up some billboards in Rockford about Tammy. I was super young when she went missing, and I had not heard of her case until just now.

I’m a Rockford native as well and this case seems to be getting some traction recently, with another big station putting out a story 'Never Forget' - billboards up in Rockford region for Tammy Tracey. The park that she disappeared at is well known locally for sketchy activity and not in a good neighborhood. New billboards have been put up all around the city to generate new leads.
If we didn't believe it could be solved we wouldn't be doing all of this,” Whisenand said. This leads me to believe LE has a suspect in mind who still lives in the area. IMO with the bad reputation of the park it could’ve just been a random stranger who attacked her. There are a bunch of homeless shelters within walking distance of the park and they are known to hang out there during the day. Not sure if this was the case in the 80’s? Just something to think about, although in my opinion, the overkill makes me think it was a crime of passion and she knew her attacker.
 
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MntnHiker

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Yeah I have never been to Searls Park, but I looked it up on Google Maps, and I am familiar with the area. It looks like there is now a dog park there and a close-by nature preserve. I'm not sure what all was there back in the 80s or how busy it was.
 

CarmenOhio88

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This leads me to believe LE has a suspect in mind who still lives in the area.

To that end, 'I want to make sure they get him before I'm dead'. Back in 2018, Rockford police Lt. Kurt Whisenand said the
following:
"The individual we believe was responsible for this was not a stranger to her and we don’t believe it was a random act,” Whisenand said. “I would say based on this crime and what I know about this suspect, he still is a danger to the public until he’s brought to justice.”

This case is alive because the police believe they've had their guy since early on, and any movement is going to rely on DNA testing advancements or someone breaking their silence to give the DA enough to charge whoever it is they're convinced did this. And the police seem equally convinced that their suspect has killed before and/or after Tammy Tracey. Scary stuff.
 

cisabella28

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This case is alive because the police believe they've had their guy since early on, and any movement is going to rely on DNA testing advancements or someone breaking their silence to give the DA enough to charge whoever it is they're convinced did this. And the police seem equally convinced that their suspect has killed before and/or after Tammy Tracey. Scary stuff.
Yeah, this is a pretty terrifying case. I had no idea though that they thought he’s killed again. That adds a new level of urgency. Seems like LE is keeping it pretty tight lipped. Do you know who said that he’s killed more than once? Just curious if there’s articles about it that might give hints at who LE thinks it is.
 
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