The National Guard is joining the search for a missing Illinois college student after she failed to return to her parents’ Schaumburg home last week.
Sheila Khalili, a 27-year-old nursing student at Olivet Nazarene University, hasn’t been seen or heard from since last Friday morning.
Her cell phone was last pinged along I-57 near an exit in Bourbonnais. The National Guard is expected to do a grid search with a helicopter in that area, possibly as early as Wednesday depending on weather.
“The fact that the car hasn’t even shown up is incredibly troubling to everyone involved because they simply don’t know what’s happening,” Thomas Glasgow, the family’s attorney, said.
The Illinois State Police have sent a fixed wing aircraft over the location but didn’t see anything. They hope the National Guard’s helicopter can take lower passes and have more time to hover.
Khalili’s family fears foul play, but Schaumburg Police, who are now taking over the investigation, said they have nothing to suggest that at this point. Their main focus Wednesday is to interview witnesses who last spoke to her.
School representatives said in a statement they are keeping in touch with Khalili’s family and local authorities.
The school noted Khalili on Thursday “completed the required residence hall checkout procedures, turned in the key to the resident assistant, and left campus to return to the Schaumburg area for the summer break. On Friday, May 5, Olivet Nazarene University learned from her family that Sheila was missing.”
The family announced a $20,000 reward for any information leading to her safe return. At a prayer vigil held Tuesday at the university’s campus, Khalili’s brother, Bobby, made a desperate plea for his sister’s safe return.
“Our family isn’t full without Sheila,” he said. “She’s the one who’s always smiling.”
Few other details surrounding Khalili’s disappearance have been released.
She is described as a white female, standing 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing about 175 pounds. She drives a 2016 white Toyota Corolla with Illinois license plate Z750932.
Anyone who sees Khalili or her vehicle is being asked to call 911. Those with information on her whereabouts can also call Schaumburg Police Department Investigations at (847) 882-3534.
Published at 1:01 PM CDT on May 10, 2017 | Updated at 12:04 AM CDT on May 11, 2017