Human Remains Located at home in Springfield Linked to Possible 16-Year Old Missing Persons Case from Springfield

By Benjamin Cox on April 16, 2024 at 11:10am

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A 16-year old missing persons case from Springfield took a surprising turn on Monday morning at a residence in Springfield.

Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell confirmed that skeletal remains had been found on the property of a home located in the 2100 block of South Grand Avenue East around 11:30 yesterday morning. Campbell would not say where on the property the remains were found.

Springfield Police officers and Sangamon Deputies had been called to the home earlier in the morning by the property owners. According to reports, the owners had been doing a remodel of the home and had found belongings with the name of Michelle “Shelly” Bianco on them.

Bianco was last heard from at 11:00 p.m. on April 5, 2008. She and her cousin were walking near south Grand and Wheeler Avenues in Springfield when an unidentified man driving a black Pontiac drove up to them, addressed Bianco by name, and offered her a ride to her home in the Lincoln Place Mobile Home Park off of Old Route 36 on Springfield’s northeast side. She got into the car and has never been heard from again. She wasn’t carrying a cellular phone at the time of her disappearance, but she did have her purse.

The man who picked up Bianco is described as white with short black hair that covered his ears. He had an unshaven face and a small build, and the paint job on his car was faded. Bianco’s boyfriend at the time reported her missing to police three days later after he returned to Springfield from a hunting trip. On April 14, 2008, an extensive search for Bianco by local authorities using canines turned up nothing. Bianco’s friends and family eventually offered a $10,000 reward for a tip to her whereabouts, but no information has ever came in.

Sheriff Campbell told Springfield media outlets yesterday that the next step is to get the remains identified. The remains are currently in the custody of the Sangamon County Coroner’s Office. Coroner Jim Allmon said yesterday that a forensic pathologist and an anthropologist will be called in for a post-mortem examination sometime today.

Bianco would be 59-years old today. At the time of her disappearance, she was described as a white woman with shoulder-length blond hair and blue eyes. She is 5 foot 7 inches tall, 112 pounds and may have been wearing a blue jean jacket, blue sweater, blue jeans, black shoes, and carrying a black purse.

If you have any information about Bianco’s disappearance, contact the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office at 217-753-6840 or leave an anonymous tip with the Menard-Sangamon County Crime Stoppers at 217-788-8427, submit a tip on, or use the P3 mobile app.