North Carolina man charged in killing of woman found in Joliet Township

JOLIET TOWNSHIP, Ill. — A North Carolina man is facing charges in the death of a 22-year-old woman whose body was found in a wooded area in Joliet Township earlier this month, according to the Will County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities identified the victim as Danica Shernay Ford, a mother of two from North Carolina. Her burned body was discovered in a shallow grave on November 12 by a man who was out hunting on private land near Woodlawn Memorial Park in Joliet. The Will County Coroner’s Office determined the cause of death was strangulation, and officers were able to use a tattoo on her leg to identify the victim.

After detectives spent “hundreds of hours” on an extensive investigation, police determined Ford and 24-year-old Delontae McMillian had moved to the area from North Carolina after McMillian was offered a job at an insurance agency in Schaumburg. The couple moved from hotel to hotel, and police say McMillian worked the job for a “very short period.”

“Detectives believe it was at this time, that McMillian and Ford began having domestic problems where he ultimately killed her and discarded her body in the woods in Joliet Township,” the Will County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

McMillian was arrested Wednesday in North Carolina, and is charged with concealing a homicide. He will be extradited to Illinois and held in the Will County Adult Detention Facility as he faces trial.