“She Never Came Back”: Mother Demands Answers After Her Daughter’s Murder Goes Unsolved For Nearly A Year

CHICAGO (CBS) — In two months it will be one year since Latonya Moore’s daughter was reported missing and found dead. She said she just wants justice, but her daughter’s killer has never been found.

“She said, ‘I’ll be back mom,’” Moore said. “She never came back.”

Moore remembers looking in every abandoned building in Lawndale when her daughter 26-year-old Shantieya Smith was reported missing last May.

RELATED: Missing Woman Shantieya Smith Found Dead In North Lawndale GarageChicago Police: No ‘Serial Kidnapper’ On Chicago’s South Side | Chicago Police Clear Up Rumors Surrounding Missing Women

Smith was found in a garage just blocks from the place she called home.

“Right under a car in a garage,” her mother said.

Her body was decomposed. The cause of death was ruled as a homicide with signs of blunt trauma.

“It was devastating because she also has a 7-year-old daughter, so it’s kind of hard to adjust telling her her mom is deceased,” Moore said.

In the ten months since Smith was reported missing and found dead, Moore has been searching for answers and closure.

“How can somebody be actually that cruel, that cruel, period? Just to leave a body in a garage for two weeks,” she said.

Police have identified a person of interest in the case. CBS 2 is not naming the man since he has not been charged.

After Smith’s death, that same man was charged with attempted murder involving a West Side woman and with driving a stolen car belonging to an out of state woman who had been sexually assaulted and shot several times. The man is in jail right now.

“The thing that I want to know, did they ever go down there to even question him?” Moore said.

CBS 2 asked police if the person of interest was ever questioned about Smith’s case. Police said after her murder and the out of state crime, he was questioned. Each time he asked for a lawyer and refused to talk.

Moore said in the months since her daughter’s murder she’s called and left messages for detectives.

“You all said there was a hand print on the garage,” she said. “Where’s the forensics at? Tell me whose hands was on it. I need to know all that. You all not telling me anything. Period.”

She says she also has a message for the person who killed her daughter.

“Your mom can get phone calls. Your mom can talk to you,” she said. “My daughter can’t talk to me. She can’t even talk to her daughter. She will never see her graduate from 8th grade. She will never see her come out of high school. She will never see her as a parent of even having a child.”

In response CBS 2’s story Chicago police said DNA results are not back yet, and they’re taking this investigation extremely seriously given what is known about the victim and the crime.

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