A Chicago woman who went missing for two weeks has now been found dead in a garage.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified the missing woman as Shantieya Smith. The 26-year-old was last seen leaving her home on May 25, reports CBS Chicago.
On June 7, police discovered Smith’s dead body underneath a car inside an abandoned garage on the 1800 block of South Central Park Avenue.
Witnesses said that the badly decomposed body had black hair with red tips like Smith.
“I don’t want to think the worst, that somebody did something to my daughter,” Smith’s mother Latonya Moore told NBC 5.
Smith’s family said they have given police the name of a man they think should be a suspect in addition to text messages.
Since March, three other women have been reported missing from Chicago’s West Side: Sadaria Davis, 15; Victoria Garrett, 15; and Anna Stanislawczyk, 18. Davis’ dead body was discovered inside an abandoned building last month. Despite the community’s concerns, the police said there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that the four cases are connected.
“We started noticing that young women were disappearing and nobody was finding them,” community activist Rev. Robin Hood told WGN TV News on Thursday. “Increasingly, the neighborhood began to talk about people that were missing. We know sometimes that people who are runaways or missing — they sometimes show up. But the fear that we have is that these last four young ladies didn’t show up, and one of them is dead.”
Hood added that the community fears that there is a predator amongst them saying, “Whether they’re kidnapping or murdering, we need answers.”
Smith’s autopsy was inconclusive, according to the medical examiner’s office. Besides her mother, Smith leaves behind a 7-year-old daughter.