Rochelle family opens up on son’s death two years later as police still investigate

Local News

ROCHELLE, Ill. (WTVO) — Tuesday marked exactly two years since Tyler Smith, a Rochelle resident, was found dead. Police are still investigating what happened to him.

Smith was 23-years-old when he died. His parents spoke with us and say they are desperate for answers surrounding their son’s death.

September 15th is a significant day for Sandy Halsne and Keith Smith.

“It’s the day that two years ago today that Tyler was found deceased in Cedar Fort Creek,” explained Sandy, Tyler’s mother.

Their son had gone missing in Galesburg the day before.

“It’s always going to be a bittersweet day for us you know because we’re always going to miss him,” Halsne added.

At a young age, Tyler knew he wanted to help others and was preparing to move to California to become a police officer. Tyler always wanted to have his own ‘mancave,’ something his parents recently did to pay tribute to him.

Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigations is now looking into Tyler’s death.

“What happened to our son basically, our main goal ‘what happened to Tyler?’ because we knew something wasn’t right,” said Tyler’s father, Keith Smith.

The family recently held a 5K run in his honor and also started the Tyler Smitty Smith fund to give high school students scholarships–a way to make his legacy live on forever.

“We’ll never get Tyler back but if we can just get justice for him you know if something happened to him we’ve been sentenced to a lifetime of grief and we feel like that person should be held accountable and we won’t stop fighting for him,” his mother added.

There is a $25,000 reward leading to an arrest and conviction in connection to Tyler’s death.


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