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Marissa Koziel, 21, February 14, 2018, Joliet, Will County, Illinois

Marissa Koziel was reported missing on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2018. It’s a day I won’t forget, because I didn’t not know she was missing, until early morning, the day she was found deceased. Her closest friend that lived out of state contacted us to report her missing. I got the poster out as quickly as I could, and within a few hours, we were notified that she was found murdered.

Marissa had been living the transient life after she suffered emotional pains in her former years. Like many of us do when we don’t know where to go, what to do, or simply just need to lash out on life, Marissa turned to the not-so-good people, doing the not-so-good things. Hanging out with her friends from hotel to hotel, she was last seen at the Rodeway Inn at 1730 McDonough Street in Joliet. It was not publicly known who she was last with, who was also at the hotel, and if she had left prior to her disappearance.

Her family last saw Marissa February 1, 2018. Two weeks later she would vanish, and then late afternoon on February 23, 2018 several teenagers walking noticed a body dumped near the roadway on the 1500 block of California Avenue in Joliet, Illinois. As reported, the top half of her body was covered. Her body was wrapped in an “unspecified material in such a way that the persons age could not be determined”. She was covered under a carpet / rug face down. While I have been given specific information, I only report here what was reported in the news. Since this is an ongoing investigation I believe many details known to law enforcement must remain close to the vest.

The initial missing persons report was made by her family to the Manhattan Police Department where they live. Once Marissa’s lifeless body was recovered, the Will County Sheriff’s Office took the case.

The autopsy result was that Marissa died of a single gun shot wound, but it was never explained where the GSW was located. They believe that the location where Marissa was recovered is not the place she was murdered. They believe she was at the dump site for several days prior to being noticed.

Speaking to Marissa’s dad, I can tell you that she was well loved by her family and friends. While we all struggle, know that at 21 years of age, it’s easy to lash out. Her dad, like the others, think of her every day, and struggle with the emptiness of not knowing what happened to Marissa, or why. The Will County Sheriff’s Investigative Unit (I can assure you) are very much on top of Marissa’s case actively seeking answers and justice.

If you have any information on the disappearance, death, or days prior to her disappearance please do the right thing. Please contact the Will County Sheriff’s Office at (815) 727-8574. Give this family the answers they deserve.

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