Burnt body found in car of missing Wisconsin woman; family seeks answers

WARREN TOWNSHIP, Ill. — A Wisconsin teacher has been missing for three days, and her family is desperate for answers.

“It’s awful,” son Maxwell Ryan said. “We're in the dark. We continue to get the same questions and get the same answers we had from Day 1.”

Kathleen Ryan, a teacher at St. Augustine Preparatory Academy, went missing Saturday.

She was supposed to meet one of her sons at a basketball game, but she never arrived. The son, one of her three adult children, coaches the boys’ basketball team at Carmel Catholic High School.

The car Kathleen Ryan typically drives was found on fire in the driveway of a home near Route 41 and Stearns Schools Road in Lake County. Inside the car was a body burned beyond recognition.

The Lake County coroner will use DNA and dental records to identify the person in the car. It could take weeks or months.

“Investigators are working to determine if the body recovered in the car is that missing person,” Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Chris Covelli said.

“At this point, we’re hoping it wasn’t her in the car,” Maxwell Ryan said. “We hope someone took the car, and she’s out there somewhere. … We just love her, and we want her home. It’s as simple as that.”

Kathleen Ryan lives in the Milwaukee area.

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