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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Autopsy inconclusive in cause of death of Round Lake Park mom

Autopsy inconclusive in cause of death of Round Lake Park mom
By Frank Abderholden

The autopsy of Melissa Best on Wednesday did not determine a cause of death, while her husband issued a statement thanking everyone for their help in finding the missing woman.

Lake County Coroner Artis Yancey said the cause of death for the 34-year-old mother of two from Round Lake Park will have to wait eight to 10 days for the full toxicology studies.

Best was reported missing April 15 and authorities believe she died that day, but wasn’t found until Monday evening at the sprawling Grays Pointe Condominiums in Grayslake, 11 days later.

Police were able to identify two people she met in a Waukegan extended-stay motel for a “social meeting.” They told authorities where they drove Best’s Pontiac minivan and abandoned it. She was in the back of the vehicle.

Authorities said drugs and alcohol contributed to her death after an initial toxicology screening was positive for opiates. Police are working with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office to determine if the two people she was with broke the law by concealing her death.

Her husband, Clint Best, released a statement through the Round Lake Park Police Department thanking authorities for their work in finding his wife.

“I would like to thank all the law enforcement involved in the missing person’s investigation, especially the chief and detectives of the Round Lake Park Police Department,” he said.

“I would also like to thank all of the media outlets who carried the story in the help of getting the word out to help in the search for Melissa,” he added.

Best said he appreciated all the people from across the nation who went to the Facebook site for his wife and “offered their love and prayers to me and my family during this troubling and sad time in our lives.”

He asked the media not to contact him because he and his family are grieving their loss.

“I have full confidence in the police that they will do the right thing in bringing justice to the people who were involved in Melissa’s disappearance,” he said.

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