Surveillance video leads police to test plastic container for missing mother’s DNA

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CHICAGO — Troubling surveillance video and DNA tests may finally tell a South Side family what happened to a missing mother.

43-year-old Chaunti Bryla disappeared back in March and police now confirm they suspect foul play.

Her family is frustrated and they don’t understand what’s taking so long to make an arrest. 

“We all think about her every day,” Eileen Sterling-Ross, aunt, said. “I used to talk to her everyday and now nothing. And now that I got her son, it’s just tragic. All we want is her to come home.” 

Sterling-Ross said she never stops looking for her niece Chaunti Bryla. 

The last time anyone heard from her was March. 

Authorities conducted a well-being check at her apartment at 85th Street and Bennett Avenue, but she was gone. 

Now, the Chicago Tribune is reporting new details in the case. Days after she went missing, a Lyft driver picked up two men with a large blue plastic container from a home in South Shore and took them to a hotel in Calumet Park. Surveillance video showed them taking the container inside.

Detectives later found a similar container nearby and sought a search warrant to test it for Bryla’s DNA. The results have not been released. All of this was news to Bryla’s family members who are desperate for answers. 

“I don’t understand why they haven’t arrested their suspect,” Kathy Kelly, aunt, said. “All we hear is they’re interviewing people.”

“I was angry that they knew more information that they didn’t tell us all along,” Nina Kelly, cousin, said. 

Relatives believe they know exactly who is responsible for Bryla’s disappearance. A parolee with a violent history was caught on surveillance at ATM’s draining her accounts.

The Tribune reports detectives also figured out he was the one who ordered that Lyft ride, but so far he has not been charged in this case. 

“He’s breathing, she may not be breathing, he’s laughing she may not be laughing,” Sterling-Ross said. “He don’t deserve to walk this earth a free man. He don’t deserve it.” 

Bryla was one of several high profile cases of missing women in Chicago in the past year. Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was found strangled with her baby cut from her womb. Kierra Coles was also pregnant. There’s been no sign of her since October.

Bryla has a 12-year-old son. He starts 7th grade next week.

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