LAKE COUNTY, Ill. —  The body found inside a car in Warren Township, Illinois on Saturday has been confirmed to be that of Kathleen Ryan, a former Stillwater teacher.

Ryan, 56, was a teacher at St. Augstine's Preparatory School in Milwaukee and previously taught economics at Stillwater Area High School. She was reported missing on Saturday, Feb. 2 while traveling from Milwaukee to Illinois to meet her son and grandchildren.

Firefighters found Ryan's car, a Pontiac sedan, on a fire in a private driveway shortly before 10 p.m. on Saturday. Her body, which was badly burned, was found after the fire was extinguished.

According to a Facebook post by Ryan's son, Zack, she had planned to travel from Milwaukee to Illinois to meet him and his children. Ryan, a teacher at. Augustine Preparatory Academy in Milwaukee, previously taught at Stillwater Area High School.

Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper said in a statement that his office positively identified the body as Ryan's through dental records.

“I am awaiting additional testing before releasing the preliminary cause of Kathleen's death,” Cooper said. “I have been in close communication with the Ryan family and extend my deepest condolences to them.”

Elizabeth Callen is a staff writer and reporter for the Forest Lake and St. Croix Valley Lowdown. She can be reached at 651-407-1229 or

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