Police probe death of 71-year-old woman

June 17, 2008 2:34:21 PM PDT
A South Side neighborhood is on alert as family, friends, neighbors and Chicago Police search for answers in the murder of a 71-year-old grandmother.A reward is now being offered in the killing of Dorothy Brown Taylor. Her body was found Monday in her home at 7230 S. Coles in Chicago's South Shore community.

Chicago Police are following leads and asking for the public's help. They are also asking seniors in the neighborhood to be very careful. While all that is going on, family and friends of Dorothy Taylor are preparing to lay her to rest.

"I'm still trying to understand it," said Sandra Lane, goddaughter.

Lane says her generosity was legendary.

"She loved people and she loved to communicate with them. If there was anything she could do for you, she did it without any hesitation. She just adored people and enjoyed sharing and helping them," Lane said.

Monday afternoon, the 71-year-old woman and her dog were found in the basement of her apartment building by her landlord. Chicago Police say they had been beaten with a blunt object.

An autopsy late Tuesday afternoon revealed Taylor had been strangled to death.

"She was just a lady to me at all times and a friend, would do anything to help you. That's why I can't understand how this could have happened," said Beatrice Welch, childhood friend.

"She always had a big smile on her face and inviting you up to have dinner or something to eat, always cooking, just a wonderful person," said Derrick Lennon, family friend.

Chicago Police are warning seniors in the neighborhood to take extra care with strangers.

"A heinous violent act against a senior citizen of our community is unacceptable," said James Jackson, 1st deputy police superintendent.

"Please call the police if someone comes to your door and you don't recognize them. Don't let anyone in," said Commander Lillie Crump-Hales, Chicago Police.

Crimestoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for tips that lead to the conviction of the person who committed this crime. If you have any information about this case, you're asked to call Area Two detectives at (312) 747-8272.

Chicago Police are continuing to talk to neighbors. The family is working on funeral arrangements.

This happened as three of Taylor's grandchildren, who live in England, were planning to come to Chicago and stay for the summer. They were scheduled to arrive on Thursday for a wonderful summer visit. Unfortunately, they'll be arriving for a much sadder occasion.

Taylor's son tells ABC7 that she was the kind of person who would feed you if you were hungry, give you something to drink if you were thirsty. He is now hoping the person who did this is brought to justice.


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