Missing College Student Was Found Slain After Telling Mom on Phone She Was Coming Home
An Illinois college student who was last seen leaving a residence on Friday night has been found dead.
On Friday at 7 p.m., Mishealia Marie Meredith, 19, of Harrisburg, left a home where she was staying, according to the Missing Person's Awareness Network.
"She spoke with her mom stating she was returning home on foot and never showed," according to the Missing Person's Awareness Network.
She disappeared and her phone was later located in Eldorado, about 9 miles northeast of Harrisburg, the Missing Person's Awareness Network says.
The Illinois State Police's Division of Criminal Investigation was asked to help the Harrisburg Police Department investigate Meredith's disappearance, The Southern Illinoisan reports.
Their investigation led them to the 800 block of High Street in Eldorado, in rural Gallatin County, KFVS reports.
There, "evidence of a homicide was discovered," the ISP says, KFVS reports.
Investigators found the body of a young woman later identified as Meredith, Gallatin County Coroner Tony Cox said, the Southern Illinoisan reports.
Her body was found near North Pool Road in North Fork Township, Cox told the paper.
He performed an autopsy but has not yet released the results, he said.
As authorities continue to investigate the case, Meredith's family and friends are mourning her loss.
A GoFundMe set up to help her family defray funeral expenses says, "A young, beautiful, and caring soul left Earth too soon at the hands of another."
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
"Mishealia was maliciously murdered after being shot twice," the page reads.
It adds, "Mishealia did not deserve to die and her family was not prepared to have to deal with burying their baby girl."
At the time of her death, Meredith was enrolled at Southeastern Illinois College, according to her obituary.
She is from Eldorado but was staying in Harrisburg when she vanished, KFVS reports.
Anyone with information is asked to contact ISP Division of Criminal Investigation Zone 8 at 618-542-2171.