Human remains ID’d as missing Joliet mom Ashley Tucker

Ashley Tucker, 25

JOLIET, Ill. — Human remains found in a barrel near a Lockport home Friday have been positively identified as Ashley Tucker, a Joliet mom who went missing two weeks ago.

Tucker, 25, disappeared after leaving a party at her father’s house Oct. 13. Relatives said the jacket she was wearing that night was found in a backyard with blood on it.

The Joliet Police Department and Will County Sheriff’s Office spent much of Friday searching a property in Lockport. Authorities have since confirmed they found human remains inside a barrel — and that the remains have positively been identified as Tucker.

Peter Zabala, 42, a convicted sex offender with a history of violence, was taken into custody Sunday night for questioning in Tucker’s disappearance.

He is considered a “person of interest” in the case and is believed to have been the last person to see Tucker alive. He is being held on separate charges, authorities said, but has not been charged in Tucker’s death.

Police on Friday wouldn’t say whether Zabala is cooperating with their investigation.

Tucker has a 4-year-old daughter.

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