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GIBSON CITY - The mother-in-law of a man accused of murdering his wife became suspicious and notified police when she went to her daughter's home and found him doing laundry.

Tamy Smith of Rantoul told police she had not heard from her daughter, Danyelle Osborne, 26, since the early hours of Oct. 30. She went to the couple's Gibson City home about 1 p.m. that day and saw Robert Osborne laundering sheets, linens and towels, which she found odd because he "never does laundry," she told police.

Smith then went to the Gibson City Police Department to report her daughter was missing.

Robert Osborne, 28, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife. He has pleaded innocent.

Smith's suspicions were contained in search-warrant documents unsealed after last week's probable-cause hearing for Robert Osborne. Judge Steve Pacey ruled there was sufficient evidence to try Osborne and set the trial tentatively for February.

Sheriff Bill Kean found Danyelle Osborne's body about 11 a.m. Oct. 31 beneath a bridge on County Road 50 North, between county roads 600 East and 700 East, southeast of Gibson City.

Gibson City police officer David Nelson said the body and clothing had been burned, the body was partially disrobed and appeared to have been sexually abused. He said there was blood around the area and what looked like blood on the bridge.

An autopsy revealed she died from blunt force trauma.

A Halloween trinket also was found atop the bridge, Nelson said. Police also found Halloween trinkets on Robert Osborne and in the family van.

The Osbornes, their four children and two cousins had attended a Halloween/birthday party Oct. 29 in Cisco. Cupcakes at the party were topped with Halloween trinkets.

Nelson said he interviewed family members and Becky Garner, a friend of Danyelle Osborne. He was told Robert and Danyelle Osborne argued during the party, and the fight escalated on the trip back to Gibson City.

Family members said Robert Osborne was due to move out of the house in two weeks.

Nelson said Danyelle Osborne's boyfriend, Jason Valdez of Urbana, told police she sent a text message to him at 12:20 a.m. Oct. 30. He replied via text message at 12:35 a.m., but the message was not returned, police said.

Valdez told police he called her cell phone at 12:40 a.m. and got no reply.

Sean Reece of Mahomet told police he and his wife, Heather, spent the evening of Oct. 29 with Robert Osborne in Mahomet, Nelson said. They drank a few beers and watched the show "Bones," then Osborne left between midnight and 12:30 a.m., he told police.

Robert Osborne told police he phoned the Reeces and Garner and said his wife had left the children at home alone. Nelson said friends indicated it was not like her.

A neighbor of the Osbornes, Kursten Ebeling, told police she went to the Osborne home at 11:40 p.m., spoke to Mrs. Osborne and used the telephone.


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