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New nurse found dead in car in pond.

An Iranian-American woman from just outside Chicago who disappeared for a week has been found dead in her car submerged in a pond near the nursing school she attended.

Police said they do not suspect foul play; they attribute the death to a single car crash.

Remains that matched the description of Sheila Khalili, 27, were removed from the vehicle last Thursday morning, six days after she disappeared, police said.

Divers started searching the pond along Interstate 57 near Bourbonnais when a sheriff's deputy found a side-view mirror and a front bumper with a license plate matching Khalili's car nearby.

As news spread through the campus of Olivet Nazarene University Thursday, fellow nursing students gathered in prayer for Khalili and her family.

"She's just been our rock," one classmate, Kadie Nicely said of Khalili. "There's only 25 of us in our program, and we're such a close family. We know God has her. She became a nurse today. She's up there looking down on us. She touched so many lives here and her patients. We know she's going to be with us, and she'll be walking across the stage with us in December, we have no doubt."

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Nicely called Khalili "very bubbly, very passionate and so positive.... She was very motivational. She always just had the magic touch with her patients, left her patients with a smile, very caring and kind."

Khalili was the middle of three US-born children of a couple who emigrated from Iran after the 1979 revolution.

The family initially suspected foul play and offered $20,000 for information leading to her safe return.

Khalili disappeared after she completed the last of her final exams. She left her family's house in Schaumburg, just north of Chicago, at 11:30 a.m. May 4 to visit friends in Bloomingdale, Thomas Glasgow, the family lawyer, said.

After hanging out with them for the day, she got a call from friends in Bradley, near Bourbonnais, where the college is located, asking her to come and stay with them.

The last recorded site of her I-PASS transponder was exiting the I-294 tollway onto Route 57 toward Bourbonnais. She also sent a text about 1:50 a.m. Friday, May 5, to tell friends she had made it that far.

Then, after a day of frequent texting, communication stopped. The last cellphone signal was detected near Bourbonnais.

Caption: DEATH SCENE--This is the pond where police discovered Sheila Khalili's car and body. The marks in the mud show where police dragged the car out.

Caption: KHALILI ... missing for week

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Title Annotation:Diaspora: Around the globe
Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Date:May 19, 2017
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