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Homicide victim discovered in Rock River

Published: Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 12:28 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 1:16 p.m. CDT
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Ogle County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Pennington and Gary Cortese, Byron Fire Department chaplain, watch as the body of Katrina A. Smith is recovered from the Rock River, south of Byron. Photo by Earleen Hinton
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Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn, second from right, walks back from the river bank with Winnebago County detectives after the body was recovered from the Rock River Friday afternoon.
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Katrina Smith

The death of a Machesney Park woman whose body was found Nov. 9 in the Rock River south of Byron has been ruled a homicide.

According to a press release posted Tuesday on the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office's website, autopsy results showed that Katrina Smith, 30, died from blunt force trauma.

An off-duty Byron fireman who was fishing discovered Smith's body in the river about a mile south of Byron around 12:30 p.m. Friday and called 911. She had been missing since Oct. 22.

Ogle County Sheriff's Police and Byron Fire Department divers recovered the body.

Smith was identified through her dental records Nov. 10 during the autopsy, which was performed by Dr. Mark Peters at the Ogle County morgue.

Four Winnebago County detectives came to the scene of where the body was recovered Friday afternoon to confer with Ogle County officials.

Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn said the body was mostly submerged in the river and caught on a large log several yards from the shoreline.

He said the body was clothed and had begun to decompose.

Smith was last seen by her husband Todd Smith, 45, leaving their home in Machesney Park. He reported her missing the following day.

Her disappearance led to a huge search which included family members, friends, and volunteers.

Funeral services for Smith are set for Saturday at Heartland Community Church, Rockford.

No suspects have been named in the case. Anyone who may have information is asked to call the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department at 815-319-6400 or Rockford Area CrimeStoppers or 815-963-8767.

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