CHICAGO — An investigation is underway after a 96-year-old woman was found dead inside a freezer at a home on the city’s Northwest Side.

Police were called to a residence in the 5500 block of West Melrose Monday afternoon. The body of the woman was removed from the home, along with a freezer.

Chicago police spokesperson Tom Ahern has confirmed the woman’s body was found inside the freezer. Her identity has not yet been released.

A man who lives in the basement unit of the building did not wish to be identified but told WGN News that the owner of the building lived with her sick and elderly mother on the first floor and the woman had not been seen for quite some time. 

“When we moved in she used to sit in the back in the sun and then from one day to another we stopped seeing her,” the man said.

Neighbors say the owner of the building started collecting items and trash and putting them out front a few years ago, about the same time they stopped seeing her mother around. 

“The last time we saw her was around like three or four years ago,” said Angeline Yanez, who lives on the top floor.

Dany Flores said that when residents would ask the owner how her mother was doing, she would give different answers, or change the subject. 

“She was in the nursery place, where the old people live,” Flores said. “She used to say, ‘Oh she’s sleeping right now, she’s sleeping,’ and we never knew what was going on.” 

People who live in the building say the owner is the only one that had access to the garage. 

A source tells WGN that detectives are interviewing people in connection to the woman’s death.

Police have classified the case as a death investigation.