CHICAGO -- The family of a woman who has been missing since last month is still waiting for answers after police found a body in a garage Thursday. They are still waiting to hear from the medical examiner whether that body is 26-year-old Shantieya Smith.
Investigators found a body underneath a car in a garage in the 1800 block of South Central Park Avenue. Witnesses said it was badly decomposed but had red hair, like Smith.
Because of the decompisition, medical examiner have to identify it scientifically, either through dental X-Rays, fingerprints or DNA.
“I’m just hoping and praying that we get to find her alive well and safe so she can get back home to her daughter,” Smith’s cousin Maya Coleman said.
The family has been searching frantically for Smith, known as Ne Ne, who was last seen May 25 near Central Avenue and Ogden Avenue.
Her family said she left her 7-year-old daughter and her cell phone at home and went somewhere with a man she knows.
Smith’s mother said the man she went with said he dropped her off at home. But they worry there’s more to it.
Since March, at least four women and girls have gone missing: Sadaria Davis, 15; Shantieya Smith, 26; Victoria Garrett, 15; and Anna Stanislawczyk, 18. Davis was found dead in an abandoned building May 11. The other three are still missing.
Police say they have no evidence to believe these disappearances are connected.