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Indianapolis family seeks answers in 20-year-old woman's death

Keriaye Winfrey had been reported missing in January, and her family hoped and prayed for her safe return.

INDIANAPOLIS — The family of an Indianapolis woman is asking the community for help after her body was found in Illinois.

DNA confirmed remains found in a wooded area in Mount Vernon, Illinois in March are those of 20-year-old Keriaye Winfrey. 

Keriaye had been missing since January. For five months, her family hoped and prayed for a miracle - her safe return.

"She was very outgoing, funny, very caring," said Keriaye's aunt, Kyria Pence Winfrey.

Two weeks ago, they received the terrible news. Illinois police identified the remains found in March as Keriaye.

"We were hoping it wasn't her. Unfortunately, it was, and it just set us back when we first heard about it and it was just another blow to the gut," Kyria said 

According to Kyria, Keriaye's brother had recently passed and she was driving through Mount Vernon to take his remains to California.

The Jefferson County Coroner's Office is still investigating how she died.

RELATED: Remains found in Illinois identified as missing Indianapolis woman

"It's awful how they did my niece," said Kyria. "It was so awful for a person to do a young lady like that."

Now, the family is focused on bringing Keriaye home and they're asking the community for help them do it. They have started a fundraiser online to help with the costs of getting Keriaye's remains back to Indianapolis and to lay her to rest. 

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" Yai Yai was an amazing person. She had a very bright future ahead of her. For somebody to just take her life like that is not cool at all," said Kyria. 

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