Family, community gather for what would have been 22nd birthday of missing Little Village young woman found dead in West Side alley

Around 80 people gathered outside of a home in Little Village Saturday on what would have been the 22nd birthday of Rosa Chacon, who was found dead this week after having been reported missing by her family in January.

Despite the bitter cold and occasional gusts and snowfall, guests were comforted by warm memories of Chacon during group prayers, a moment of silence and a balloon release outside of her home where she was last seen.

Rosa Chacon (left) and Elizabeth Bello (right) release balloons with other loved ones during a vigil to remember Rosa Chacon on what would have been her 22nd birthday at the family home at 2811 S. St. Louis in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood on March 18, 2023.

The body of 21 year-old Chacon was found bound and wrapped in sheets in a laundry cart on Wednesday in a West Side alley more than a month after she went missing, according to her family and authorities.

The family hired a private investigator after reporting Chacon missing on January 18, when she was last seen getting into a ride share outside of her home in the 2800 block of South St. Louis Avenue at night, but the family said they are unsure of where she was going.

In a statement, the Richart Detective Agency said after “working closely with the family” they located Chacon and Chicago police said she was dead on the scene in the 2300 block of West 24th Place about 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday.

The mother of Rosa Chacon, center, also named Rosa Chacon, receives a hug following a press conference and small vigil to remember her daughter near the corner of 24th Place and Western Avenue in Chicago on March 17, 2023.

Chacon’s older brother, Gregory Chacon, said Saturday his sister would have been “found a long time ago if the police would have went out and looked, but they kept telling me and my family that it was not a crime, that she’s fine.”

“If she was fine, she would have called,” he said. “She would have come home. She comes home. When she goes out, she called my mom or my dad and says she’s fine. If she can’t make it home the same night, she’ll say she’ll be home in the morning.”

He said he and his sister were both born and raised in Chicago. His sister was “funny” and “kind,” he said, and was never rude to anyone.

“She would never cause harm or nothing,” he said. “She was a nice person.”

Her father, Jose Lucio, told the Tribune his daughter was bound, wrapped in sheets and found in a laundry cart. A Thursday autopsy to determine the cause and manner of her death was inconclusive and still pending, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Loved ones of Rosa Chacon walk through an alley near the corner of 24th Pl. and Western Ave. in Chicago where family members believe Chacon’s body was found.  A small vigil was held to remember Chacon at that location on March 17, 2023.

Lucio had voiced his concerns about his daughter and the lack of help from Chicago police and the local alderman to activists in the area, said Dolores Castañeda, a community leader who worked closely with the father to raise awareness of the case.

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“They are completely heartbroken,” Castañeda said.

Rosa Chacon stands behind a missing person flyer for her daughter, also named Rosa Chacon, during a press conference and small vigil to remember the 21-year-old near the corner of 24th Place and Western Avenue in Chicago on March 17, 2023.

Family and friends of Chacon gathered in a separate vigil on Friday night where they announced that the family is offering a $15,000 reward for more information leading to an arrest for Chacon’s death and demanding that the FBI gets involved. At Saturday’s vigil, the family said the reward was increasing to $20,000.

“I want justice for my daughter,” said her mother Rosa Chacon.

Anyone with information should contact Area 4 special victims unit detectives, 312-746-8251.

2023-03-19 05:04:54 ,

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