It was a mystery in the stateline for 4 months-- what happened to Emily Anderson?
Sadly a week ago today-- her family got the worst possible answer to that question. Emily was dead. Her body was pulled from the rock river inside a sunken car.
It took days for the coroner to positively i-d her because she'd been in the water for so long. Emily was last seen at a Machesney Park Steak N' Shake back in June. Since her death -- Emily's family says they prefer for her to go by her maiden name Dull instead of Anderson.
"Denial is probably the biggest feeling," Rachel Kirch Libowski, Emily's friend says.
For Emily's friends and family -- they say they're still digesting the fact that their daughter, sister, aunt and friend... Is gone.
"Words can't express what your brain goes through -- it just goes --no," Kirch Libowski says.
But now, they say they're trying to cope with the loss.
"Keep us busy and keep us moving Because it's been a difficult time," Caitlin and Tom Dull, Emily's sister and father says.
Planning a visitation and funeral hasn't made things any easier-- although it's given them a chance to reflect on her life and think about the legacy she left behind.
"She would walk into a room and light up the whole room. she just stood out among everybody else. She always had a smile on her face and she made everybody feel like they were important," Kirch Libowski says.
The way friends and family say they'll all remember Emily-- is with love. That's why the funeral home decorated the space with hearts in pictures, candies and candles.
"She wouldn't leave the house without saying I love you no matter how mad you were at her," Dull says.
Which is why they say they aren't surprised Emily's disappearance brought the community together.
Whether it was through a search party or posting a missing person's flier -- the family says they can't thank the community enough for the support and they hope Emily's love-- kindness and compassion stays with the community forever.
"I fought as hard as I could to make sure no one will ever forget about her because I know I will never forget," Dull says.
The Winnebago County Coroner's Office says it's still waiting to get the toxicology reports back from Emily's autopsy. The coroner said last week he does not suspect foul play in Emily's death.
A funeral and celebration of life for Emily is set for tomorrow at Sunset Funeral Home at 2 p.m.
After that, the family is holding a luncheon at Whiskey's Roadhouse along North Main Street. Everyone is welcome to both events.