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Two years later: Family remembers Rochelle native Tyler Smith

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ROCHELLE (WREX) — It was two years ago to the day Tuesday that Sandra Halsne lived a parent's worst nightmare—her son, Tyler Smith, was found dead.

On Sept. 15, 2018, Smith's body was found in Galesburg, but two years later, his death remains a mystery. Authorities said he was out with friends in downtown Galesburg the night before when he got separated from his friends, which was the last time he was seen alive.

"No parent should have to bury their child to begin with let alone go through all of that as well," Halsne said about the investigation into her son's death.

Tyler joined the Army National Guard after graduating from Western Illinois University.

Over the weekend the family held the annual Tyler 'Smitty' Smith Memorial 5K run/walk in Rochelle. All proceeds from the race go to the Tyler Smith Memorial Foundation which will fund local high school scholarships and other local charities including police and/or military organizations. 

"He's an inspiration to me to keep living," Tyler's mother said. "He did so much. To remember him in a positive way and to do something positive in his name is what he would want."

The family says Tyler loved competing in races and they plan to keep the event going for as long as possible.

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13 WREX Newsroom

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