Murdered Rockford teen Tammy Tracey honored with new memorial

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A new memorial stands at the front gates of Searls Park in honor of Tammy Tracey, who was just 19 when she was murdered more than 30 years ago.

Representatives from the Rockford Park District along with the Tracey family welcomed the installation of the Tammy Tracey Memorial Parkway off of Safford Road.

Tracey disappeared from Searls Park on May 27th, 1987, where she had gone to wax her car. Later that evening, she failed to meet a family member at Ingersoll Golf Course.

Her remains were found in the Sugar River Forest Preserve on April 15, 1988. Police said she had been shot and stabbed to death.

Stateline authorities searching for her killer but weeks turned into months, which turned into decades.

In November of 2019, Jessie Smith, 64, was arrested in Albany, Georgia, and charged with her murder after new evidence came to light.

He is still in the Winnebago County Jail awaiting his next court date in November.

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