BREAKING NEWS: At an 11:00 AM news conference, Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko announced that Melissa Best’s body had been discovered in a Grayslake parking lot Sunday evening. Based on tips received from Facebook postings by family members, the police were able to determine that Best apparently died in Waukegan and was transported to the Grays Pointe Condominium complex parking lot where her body was found laying in the back seat of her van. Best had voluntarily driven to a location in Waukegan where, according to the Chief, “Something went wrong”. He went on to say that two individuals are being investigated and reportedly are cooperating with police.
Chief Filenko and the coroner notified her husband, Clint, and other family members Sunday night and stated they were obviously devastated by the news. The Chief said preliminary autopsy results indicated that she died on the day she went missing (April 15th) and that drugs and alcohol have not been ruled out. He stated that there had been alcohol abuse in the past but was not able to say whether or not there had been drug abuse. It is believed that she died in Waukegan and then was transported and left in the Grays Pointe Condominium parking lot where the van went unnoticed for a week.
The family had posted heavily on Facebook which led to friends responding that put her in the Waukegan area and eventually led to the van. The Chief credits the efforts of the family as well as Facebook for tips that eventually led to the scene. The van has been examined by the N.I. crime scene detectives and is now parked at the Round Lake Park police station where Chief Filenko allowed reporters to view it and take whatever photos that they wanted.
Chief Filenko stated that the cause of death may be criminally chargeable but will wait for the final autopsy report as well as continuing investigation results.
Round Lake Park Chief Filenko said Best drove to a Waukegan hotel/motel, the Crossland Economy Studios at 1177 S. Northpoint Blvd. near Fountain Square, after dropping off her daughter at a friend’s house in Round Lake, where she met at least two people for a social visit. The Chief stated that their investigation has revealed that she was there for several hours and had consumed alcohol and an opiate drug before she apparently died. Her body was then taken from the motel by two acquaintances and driven in her van to the Grays Pointe Condo parking lot where it was abandoned.