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Elderly woman found stabbed to death

April 28, 2009 9:52:45 AM PDT
An elderly woman was found stabbed to death in a Bronzeville apartment building Monday. Chicago police say she may have interrupted a burglary in the building on the 3400-block of South Giles.

Florence McCollum did not live in the building. The 73-year-old woman had been visiting a cousin, who owns the building.

McCollum's body was found in an apartment where her cousin's son used to live. A computer and a television were among items missing

No arrest has been made.

Neighbors are calling it another senseless crime with a good person gone. They say McCollom lived to help others and apparently died doing just that. The family calls her a saint. McCollum was a minister and on the local school council.

"She was a loving person everybody loved. Like when I played sports, everybody knew my grandmother," said Steven Jones, who was raised by McCollom.

"She inspired Jones to basketball success and tried to help everyone around her.

""We are just torn up," said Jones. "I know, like now, it is just, I know the good things she told me - to finish school, finish playing basketball. That is the most thing I'm concerned. She always told me she would be here for me, even if she did pass."

"McCollum died helping her 88-year-old cousin at the boarding house that Ruby Warren runs in Bronzeville. She was washing clothes and went downstairs when something went wrong.

""She took the clothes down, and she was gone so long, until I got somebody to go down," Warren said.

""I took one step and looked around and saw Florence's legs on the floor. I came back and said, 'Mama Ruby, Florence is back there on the floor,'" said tenant Ricky German.

""I was running around crying just as much as Mrs. Ruby yesterday. I seen that body. I couldn't believe it, overwhelming, unbelievable," German.

""The way it happened was somebody just breaked in to stab her and just to take her life is hard to take," Jones said.

"McCollom had taken public transportation from the West Side to the South Side to help her cousin. She was there to assist the older lady because Warren had just lost her own son last month. Police are still investigating the crime.


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