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Coroner: Cold exposure killed missing Illinois mom

A mother who was missing for weeks after fleeing a car crash that killed her husband in northern Illinois died from exposure to the cold.

A mother who was missing for weeks after fleeing a car crash that killed her husband in northern Illinois died from exposure to the cold.

WSPL Radio says that's the conclusion of a preliminary autopsy on 40-year-old Tanya Shannon of Ransom. LaSalle County Coroner Jody Bernard released the results Thursday. Authorities are awaiting the final autopsy report and toxicology results.

Shannon's body was found in an open field Monday near the LaSalle Nuclear Station.

Her husband, Dale Shannon, died after their car hit a light pole while the couple was heading home from a holiday party on Dec. 5. Deputies found footprints in the snow leading away from the car, and searchers braved the cold for days in hopes of finding her before giving up until the weather warmed up.

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