The tip indicated the deceased was a man by the name of Joe Miller, who lived with Burr at Colonnade apartment complex in Effingham. The person providing the tip indicated Joe Miller had been stabbed by Burr and his body was buried in the woods by Burr's daughter. After further investigation, it was determined Joe Miller was actually a man by the name of Joe C. Delaney. Delaney's digital fingerprint ended sometime in 2011 and no one knew his whereabouts.
Kibler said Det. Aaron Lange of the Effingham Police Department and Sgt. Albert Gallatin of the Illinois State Police would have testified that Delaney was identified after it was noted his photograph resembled a facial reconstruction of the "John Doe" found near the river on March 10, 2012. Moreover, Kibler said, both Delaney and "Doe" wore glasses and neither had any teeth. The prosecutor added that Delaney was known to wear dentures.
According to Kibler, Mathis and Houser were living together in Effingham. Moreover, he said, Houser is a native of Willow Hill and the road near where the remains were found is commonly known as the "back way" between Newton and Willow Hill.
Kibler said Mathis told police that she had witnessed Delaney's death in Burr's apartment at the Colonnade apartment complex in Effingham and helped dispose of the body. Mathis, according to police, said she and Houser had been invited to the Burr-Delaney apartment for dinner. Mathis corroborated her mother's account ,of the events that led to Delaney's death.
Both Mathis and Houser told police, Kibler said, that they helped Burr load Delaney's body into a van and disposed of the body near the point where the remains were found.
Kibler said police had difficulty determining through the interviews exactly when the killing occurred. The best timeline he could come up with was sometime between July 1, 2011 — when Delaney disappeared — and March 10, 2012, when the remains were found