Homicide: Missing Illinois woman found strangled in forest preserve
Midlothian Police
Vanessa Ceja's body was found in the woods at Midlothian Meadows Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 4.

UPDATE Nov. 13, 2020:

WGN-TV reports there is now a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person, or people, who killed Vanessa Ceja-Ramirez.

Ceja-Ramirez's body was found in the Midlothian Meadows Forest Preserve last week, two days after she disappeared in the same area. She was with her mother on the 3-mile path, then went back to their car, but she was gone when her mother returned to the vehicle. Ceja-Ramirez had been strangled to death.

MORE: Family, friends looking for answers after 22-year-old woman found strangled in forest preserve - WGN


Nov. 9, 2020:

via WGN:

MIDLOTHIAN, Ill. (WGN) -- A Harvey woman who was found Wednesday in a Cook County forest preserve died of strangulation, according to medical officials. Her death has been ruled a homicide.

Vanessa Ceja, 22, was reported missing on Nov. 2 by her mother. Her mother said Ceja had not returned from a walk on a trail at the Midlothian Meadows Forest Preserve.

According to Cook County Forest Preserve officials, a woman’s body was found in the woods at Midlothian Meadows Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 4. The Cook County Medical Examiner identified the body as Ceja's.

Thursday, the medical examiner’s office ruled Ceja's cause of death as asphyxia due to strangulation.

During the search for Ceja last week, police had tracked her phone to an apartment complex in Oak Forest, about 3 miles from where her body was found.


The Chicago Sun-Times reports a $4,000 reward is being offered for information about Vanessa Ceja-Ramirez's homicide.

The Sun-Times quotes community activists Raul Montes Jr. and Andrew Holmes on Sunday citing media reports that Ceja-Ramirez was tortured and her body was partially burnt.

“I do know her hands were bound, she was beaten and strangled,” said Holmes, who said he has been in contact with her family. Cook County officials haven't confirmed the details.


The Chicago Tribune reports Ceja-Ramirez disappeared after she decided to return to a car midway through a walk in the nature preserve with her mother and friend. When they returned to the car, she wasn’t there and could not be located or contacted, police said.

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