News - Joliet and Will County

Body found in woods near Joliet ID’d; woman’s boyfriend in custody

Pair had lived in N.C. before recent move

Law enforcement officials search a section of Jefferson Street on Nov. 12 after a body was discovered along the road near Joliet.

A body found earlier this month in the woods north of Jefferson Street just outside Joliet was that of a young woman from North Carolina whose boyfriend was arrested Wednesday evening on a charge of concealing a homicide.

Danica Ford, 22, was killed elsewhere before her body was burned and dumped in the woods near Woodlawn Cemetery, police said.

Her body was found by a hunter the morning of Nov. 12.

Ford’s boyfriend, Deiontae McMillian, 24, was taken into custody in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where the couple had resided. He was being questioned there Wednesday night by detectives from the Will County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Chief Dan Jungles said.

McMillian recently moved to Schaumburg for work, Jungles said, and Ford, who has a child with him, followed soon after.

Ford worked as a hairstylist and a dancer, Jungles said.

Attempts to identify Ford through her fingerprints were unsuccessful, as they were not on file, Jungles said.

Ford had a number of tattoos, he said, including one of a cross with a name and a date of death. Detectives linked the name on the tattoo to a North Carolina obituary, determined the tribute was to Ford’s grandmother, then matched Ford’s tattoos to photos on her Facebook page.

“This is some of the best police work – old-fashioned police work – in trying to track her down,” Jungles said.

Police found a vehicle the couple had lived out of at the home of one of McMillian’s relatives in North Carolina, Jungles said, and determined the plates had been switched out.

Joseph Hosey

Joseph Hosey

Joe Hosey became editor of The Herald-News in 2018. As a reporter, he covered the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and criminal investigation of her husband, former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson. He was the 2015 Illinois Journalist of the Year and 2014 National Press Club John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award winner.