DeKalb and the NIU community woke up to shocking news on Saturday when it was reported that a dead body was located along a stretch of I-88, in DeKalb.

State police arrived on the scene near mile marker 92 in the westbound lanes, just east of the Annie Glidden exit of I-88 at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning where they found a body in the ditch.

Police have now identified the man as 25-year-old Ryan A. Mertl of Montgomery, Illinois. According to a report published in the Daily Chronicle, police said that it appeared as if the man was walking along the side of the road when he was hit by a vehicle.

Earlier today, the DeKalb County Coroner reported that results of a preliminary autopsy performed Monday that indicated the subject died of massive injuries to his head and body. No further information has been released by police and the investigation continues. The Illinois State police are in charge of the investigation.

According to Ryan Meryl's Facebook profile, he was employed as a forklift operator for Ryder. Friends of Ryan have been paying tribute to him on social media. Photos of Ryan can be seen HERE.

Catch Mark Charvat on Q98.5 from 3 p.m to 7 p.m.. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook

More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5