Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ethiopian parents Seek Answers After Mysterious Death of Daughter, 18, in Uptown

(Mar 20, 2013, DNA Info, (UPTOWN))--An Ethiopian family in Uptown is searching for answers after the mysterious death of their 18-year-old daughter, whose body was found in an apartment this month just two blocks from her home.

Mona Ali's was body was found at 1:30 p.m. March 9, in an apartment in the 4600 block of North Winthrop Avenue, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. She was pronounced dead at the scene, which is not far from where she lived with her family in a high-rise building in the 4800 block of North Winthrop.

The results of her autopsy were pending Friday evening, and police said they were still investigating the case. "It's tough, very hard. Very, very hard," her father, Abduselam Ali, said on Friday. The night of March 8 was the last time Mona Ali's family saw her alive, they said. She was getting dressed to go to a party and told her parents she was waiting for a family friend, 18-year-old Issa Issa, to give her a ride, according to her father. He said she left the house about 9 p.m.

"She went out with her friends to a party. We don't know exactly what happened," he said. But in an interview, Issa said he was working at the time and that he did not pick Mona Ali up. Issa said Ali told him she took a taxi from her house to an Edgewater hookah lounge to hang out with friends from Harold Washington College, where she, like Issa, was a student.

He met the group at 11 p.m. after he got off work. Some of the group later ended up "driving around the city," and eventually went to hang out at Montrose Harbor until after 1 a.m., he said. Issa drove some of the others in the group to their cars, he said.

When they pulled up to Ali's home, she told him, "'I'm not going home,'" Issa said. She instead asked him to drop her off at an apartment two blocks away, near Leland and Winthrop. He had dropped her off at that address "two or three times" before, but he did not know whom she was meeting, and he did not see if she actually went inside, he said. Read more from DNA Chicago neighborhood News »

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