Woman found dead at motel identified

May 26, 2008 8:45:31 PM PDT
The body of a woman found dead inside a North Side motel last week has been identified.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office says the body is that of 46-year-old Maratta Walker.

She died from blunt force trauma from an assault.

Walker was found dead inside a room last week at the Chicago Lodge motel in the city's Edgewater neighborhood in the 900-block of West Foster.

Police are looking for a man who was staying at that motel and was seen leaving the room just before Walker's body was found.

One of the victim's sisters is asking for help to find her killer.

Walker's relatives are looking for answers. Police found her body badly beaten with blood all over the room. It was a brutal homicide. Sources say police have a suspect in mind. But they have yet to file charges.

It was a messy crime scene. And police brought bags of evidence from the hotel room where they discovered the body, naked and stuffed into a closet in a room where she had apparently been staying.

The room was registered to a man who police have not identified. But they believe he has left the area.

"She had people that loved her, that cared about her," said sister Caroline Walker.

Caroline Walker says her sister was friendly and outgoing. Because of a medical condition, she stayed at the Sommerset Place apartments where she received care.

It's about two blocks from the motel. According to employees there, the man who rented the room where she was found stayed there for 14 days and paid in cash every day until the day he left, the same day Maratta Walker's body was discovered.

He also never let the housekeeper in to clean.

The medical examiner ruled she had been beaten to death. And her badly decomposed body had been in the room for more than a week.

"They said she'd been beaten to death. I don't think that's right," said acquaintance Matthew Evans.

The hotel's manager discovered the body after employees complained of the odor coming from the room. By that time, the man renting the room was long gone. Police are still putting the case together, waiting for results on forensic tests and talking to hotel employees. Family members are hoping more witnesses who may have seen Maratta Walker with the man will come forward.

"I want justice, I want them to find him, bring him to justice, let him know that she had a family," said Caroline Walker.

Motel workers say the man would hand linens to the housekeeping staff through the door. They say the linens were so dirty they would threw them away instead of trying to wash them.


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