Cross put up in honor of Toni Keller


Greg Zanis of Aurora puts up a cross in honor of Toni Keller. The investigation into Keller’s disappearance has been classified as a homicide investigation.

By Matt Liparota and Demarcus Robinson

Greg Zanis is no stranger to tragedy.

Zanis, of Aurora, is the head of Crosses for Losses, a group that travels across the country and establishes memorial crosses when requested.

Most recently, Zanis has come to DeKalb to establish a cross for Antinette “Toni” Keller, a student who went missing on Oct. 14.

Since Keller’s disappearance, the investigation has been reclassified as a death investigation, although it is currently unknown whether Keller has actually died.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen announced that the investigation was now proceeding as a homicide investigation.

“Life has value,” Zanis said. “This guy that killed her thinks her life has no value.”

Zanis criticized the way local authorities are handling the Keller investigation.

At the conference, Feithen revealed that the human remains had been discovered on Saturday, Oct. 16. The remains were not announced to the public until the following Saturday.

“I’m really outraged at the way police are handling this,” Zanis said.

Feithen said that the department was unsure of whether the remains were human or animal and did not want to announce anything until they were sure.

Zanis, a carpenter by trade, has been planting crosses since 1996. Zanis previously came to DeKalb to plant crosses after the Feb. 14, 2008 shootings that took the life of five students.

Zanis said that he never accepts donations and always volunteers his own lumber and gas for travel. When families insist on giving him donations, Zanis said, he laminates them and puts them on his wall.