Police searching for missing Kane woman
By Stephanie Lulay and Matt Hanley slulay@stmedianetwork, firstname.lastname@example.org August 22, 2012 6:00PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 7:53AM
Police are searching for a 20-year-old Kane County woman who left home on Sunday but never arrived at Illinois State University.
According to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, Tanner Conroyd left her home on Route 31 near St. Charles around noon on Sunday. Police said Conroyd’s father believed she was heading back to school at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal.
Her family contacted her friends at ISU, but none of them had seen her at the school, police said. Her family reported her missing to police in Normal on Sunday evening.
Police have been able to verify that Conroyd did make several stops on Sunday and Monday, but have not been able to locate her since she was last seen in Chicago on Monday.
According to police:
Conroyd left her house about noon on Sunday after an argument with family members. Her father believed she was headed for ISU, where she planned to attend the fall semester but had not yet enrolled as a student.
Her older sister, 29-year-old Taylor Conroyd, was at her father’s house when Tanner left. Tanner was unusually combative, her sister said, and left her cellphone at the house, perhaps by accident.
“(Tanner) was upset and wanted to go back to school,” Taylor said. “She was discussing some family issues, and we were trying to stall her (from leaving) until we knew she was calm.”
At about 1 p.m., Conroyd got gas at the BP station on Route 47 in Sugar Grove. An employee at the station said Conroyd prepaid for her gas. She was alone and parked her car at the first pump. The clerk said Conroyd seemed happy, almost hyper.
At about 1:30 p.m., she was seen at the Brown Pub in Hinckley. Police say she stayed there for about three hours after her car broke down. (An attendant at the BP station said they did not have any of the tainted gasoline which has caused car problems in Illinois and Indiana in the past week.) Conroyd asked for help from a father and son who lived in the area. When the attempt to fix the car was unsuccessful, she asked them for a ride to the Aurora Transportation Center in downtown Aurora and said she would take the train to Union Station in Chicago. An employee at the Brown Pub declined to comment Wednesday evening.
Conroyd was next seen at Millennium Park in Chicago. She spoke to a security guard at Millennium Park around 10:30 p.m. Sunday as the park was closing. She appeared to be by herself. Conroyd provided the guard her cellphone number so he could call her to make sure she got home safely.
The security guard called her phone and older sister Taylor answered the phone, which was left at home.
“He was concerned because she was upset, agitated,” Taylor said. Conroyd told the man she was either attacked or someone tried to steal her guitar, her sister said.
Police said Conroyd was seen in Millennium Park again on Monday. Family said the last confirmed sighting of Conroyd was at 5:30 a.m. Monday in the 100 block of West Adams Street, near the park.
Taylor Conroyd said she had no idea why her sister would be in Chicago. She knew one person there, but that person was out of town at the time Conroyd disappeared, her sister said, and she’s only been to the city once or twice.
‘Out of character’
Police said Conroyd was wearing a pink shirt with blue Capri pants and gold-framed glasses. She is white, 5-foot-6, about 160 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. She is also believed to have been carrying a red guitar possibly in a soft-sided case, police said.
The vehicle she was driving — a white 1995 Ford Crown Victoria — was found near the Brown Pub in Hinckley on Wednesday, but it appears the car had been there since Sunday, police said.
“We know she took that route to school before, but based on everything we were getting, we didn’t expect to find a car there,” Kane County Lt. Pat Gengler said. “We expected everything to be in Chicago.”
Gengler said Conroyd’s family said her actions this past week were “quite odd.” Her family is concerned she may be suffering from some sort of psychological issue.
Her family believes she may be near a park, library, anything related to music, a museum or college campus.
“This is definitely out of character for her to do something like this,” Gengler said. “(Conroyd) had no history of disappearing.”
Conroyd’s mother lives in St. Charles. Her father lives in unincorporated Kane County near St. Charles, Gengler said.
According to a Twitter account registered under her name and picture, Conroyd started a music website with a friend. She began blogging on Aug. 12 and posted five times since then. On Aug. 15, a blog post signed “Tanner” noted her excitement about heading back to Illinois State University and asked new band members to find her when she got to campus. Conroyd played the flute.
In another post put up at 6:30 a.m. Aug. 15, she talks about how her music had inspired her.
“You may be wondering, ‘Wasn’t Tanner just up around 2:00 am and now it’s 6:30 am. Does this girl ever slow down?’ ” it says in the post signed Tanner. “Well, I suppose that I want as many hours of each day as I can. I milk them for all they’re worth.”
Gengler said the family has done a lot of their own canvassing and posted fliers at Millennium Park.
Kane County detectives are working with Illinois State Police and Normal police. Investigators have not ruled out foul play.
“(Tanner) believes people are good. She’s one of those great, positive people,” sister Taylor Conroyd said.
The family has set up a Facebook page at Find Tanner Conroyd.
Anyone with information on Conroyd is asked to call Kane County sheriff’s detectives at 630-444-1103.