A 21-year-old Illinois woman who had been missing for nearly two months was discovered dead — tied up, wrapped in a sheet, and stuffed in a shopping cart on Chicago’s Southwest Side just one week before her 22nd birthday.
The remains of Rosa Chacon, who was last seen getting into a ride-hailing vehicle in January, were located earlier this month and positively identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, a private investigating firm announced.
According to a private investigator who says he’s close to the family, Chacon was seen getting into an Uber at approximately 10:40 p.m. on Jan. 18 in the 2800 block of St. Louis Avenue that was heading to the 2400 block of Western Avenue in Chicago.
The shopping cart that Chacon was left inside of was located in an alley in the 2300 block of West 24th Place, according to a report from Chicago ABC affiliate WLS-TV. Her remains were sent to the medical examiner for an autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death.
Chacon’s family told WLS that she was not the one who ordered the Uber that picked her up on Jan. 18.
“She said, ‘I’ll be back mom. I got the Uber ride there and the Uber ride back,’ that’s what she told me,” her mother, who is also named Rosa Chacon, told the station. “I don’t know how they have a heart to do something like that.”
According to her mother, Chacon did not say where she was going, who she was going with, or who ordered the car for her. She also did not bring a coat or ID with her, her mother told WLS.
The family told the station that they contacted the police after Chacon went missing, but said the response from law enforcement was quite discouraging, with investigators telling her parents that their daughter was likely a runaway.
“She’s not a runaway. Only a mother would know her kid,” her mother said in an interview with CBS News. “I was her partner in crime. I was always with her, except that night. She said she had an Uber. I didn’t think she was going anywhere. I laid down. She said ‘I’m leaving in the Uber and I’ll be back.’ That’s the last I heard of my daughter.”
But for Chacon to have completely cut off contact with her family and friends for an extended period of time was not like her, her father said.
“I miss my baby,” Chacon’s father Jose Lucio told WLS. “Normally when our daughter leaves, we hear from her. She calls the next day, she calls an hour after she leaves, she’s in a house, she’s secure, she’s nice and warm. But we didn’t hear anything.”
A spokesperson for Uber reportedly told WLS that they don’t release private information for privacy and policy reasons.
Chacon’s friends and family say they spent weeks handing out missing-person fliers before finally hiring their own private investigator to look into her disappearance.
According to CBS News, police currently have the case listed as an open death investigation pending the report from the medical examiner.
Community leaders have offered a $15,000 reward for information shedding light on Chacon’s death.
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