West Chester Police Chief Joel Herzog laid out the facts Tuesday afternoon as he recalled the evening officers made the grim discovery of a missing woman’s remains in a Liberty Twp. field.
He ticked off all the appropriate mentions: thanks to other law enforcement agencies for their assistance, the tips that led police to the field, and what comes next in the investigation.
But then, he turned to an enlarged photo of a rainbow hanging on the wall behind him.
“That is directly above where Ellie was found,” Herzog said, “and that rainbow appeared shortly after we located her body.”
The Butler County Coroner’s Office identified the body found in a Liberty Twp. field Friday evening as Ellen “Ellie” Weik, a 23-year-old whose mother reported her missing from her West Chester home on Aug. 1.
“That in itself touched many officers on the scene,” Herzog said. “I think it was a true sign from her, of thank you for bringing her home.”
While the discovery was a very emotional time for the investigators involved, Herzog said it cannot compare to the sorrow Weik’s family is feeling.
“We know this is an incredibly difficult time for them and we keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” Herzog said.
Enlarged photos of Weik, a 2013 Lakota East High School graduate, also hung behind Herzog.
“You can see how free spirited she was and what a beautiful human being she was,” he said.