Skeletal Remains Proved To Be Robert Bee

Sep 23, 2017

The skeletal remains found two months ago south of Pekin are that of missing teen Robert Bee. A statement released at 5:35 a.m. Saturday morning says the Illinois State Police Crime Lab made the conclusive identification Friday.

Bee, who would have turned 14 earlier this month has been missing since last November after school truant officers visited his home. The circumstances surrounding his disappearance and the exact details of when he disappeared remain murky.  

Peoria County Coroner Jeff Baldi says achieving the official ID included challenges. He said as recently as late last week he has been working with the child’s mother and would informer her of the findings before he made them public.

The area where police worked July 24, 2017 to collect a small, but full skeleton then thought to be the missing youngster. But it was reportedly JUST a skeleton. Robert Bee's remains were scientifically verified Friday, September 22, 2017.
Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The initial autopsy July 25, 2017 was able to make a definitive match with dental records. That was likely caused by dental changes that may have occurred between the last time the child saw the dentist and his disappearance.


Baldi said initially they were using tooth dentin for the DNA Match. That may have proved challenging based on the size and condition of the skeletal remains that were found scattered between a wooded area and a backyard clearing in the 14,000 block of IL Route 29.  The DNA testing was completed at the Illinois State Police Forensic Laboratory in Morton.

The multi-agency response at the scene July 24, 2017 has been indicative of the broad-based effort necessary to find and recover the child.
Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The statement from the Tazewell County Coroner’s Office says the investigation into Bee’s disappearance and death continues. The Pekin Police Department, Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police and the Tazewell County Coroner’s Office are working together on the investigation.