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Police: Man questioned in triple murder

November 30, 2010 8:12:12 PM PST
A 43-year-old woman and her two daughters, ages 11 and 17, were found stabbed to death inside a Morgan Park apartment Monday night.

The victims have been identified as Stacy Cochran-Hill, 43; Joi Cochran, 11; and Jade Hannah, 17.

The bodies were found at 10:28 p.m. near 111th and South Bell on the Far South Side. Police were on the scene at the four-story brick apartment building Tuesday morning collecting evidence and removing the three bodies. Crime tape sealed the second-floor apartment where the murders took place.

"The detective made his way around the building to ask us questions to make sure we were OK. Again, I don't know who it was. I have a 12-year-old and 15-year-old so maybe the 11-year-old might go to school with my daughter. But there's never been any problems," said neighbor Darlene Clark.

The three victims were found with multiple stab wounds. Police believe the incident was the result of a domestic dispute and are questioning a man who is being called a person of interest. It was unknown whether the man being questioned is related to the victims.

"I would hope that one day he comes to understand what he did, and hopefully he can have some remorse and maybe change his life," said Larry Phillips, victims' uncle.

Stacy Cochran-Hill's mother, Sharon Ramey, says she can't make sense of the crime that took her only child and granddaughters. They spent the day before shopping for Cochran-Hill's Morgan Park apartment which she had moved into two months ago.

"If who the police got did it, I hope you rot in hell. And that's putting it lightly," said Ramey. "Those are my babies and my family ... I want to be able to pick up the phone and call her."

Cochran-Hill had been estranged from her husband, Henry Hill, but relatives say the two were on good terms. Hill formally identified the body of his wife and stepdaughters at the medical examiner's office Tuesday.

"Any time that anyone loses a loved one, and to lose three in one day, very difficult," said Hill. "Outside of sleeping in separate household, we still did stuff as a family."

Cochran-Hill was on short-term disability from her job in patient in-take at the University of Chicago Hospital and would have turned 44 on Friday. Her daughter Jade was a senior at Morgan Park High School. Relatives say she was dating a high school graduate who was set to go to a disciplinary boot camp. Joi was in sixth grade at Roseland Christian Academy where bunting still hangs for another sixth grader who was accidentally shot to death.

"For sixth graders, especially to have the second classmate die this year in extraordinary terms, it's been hard," said James VanZyl, principal, Roseland Christian Academy.

Grief counselors will be on hand at both of the girls' schools.

"I'm so alarmed that this would happen around here, and you know, I hope they get the right person so my family will be safe," said Patricia Garrett, whose family lives in the building.

"People don't have respect anymore for human life. How could you, you know, sit there and stab three people? That's serious," said Monik Herron.

Tracy Jackson, 49, who also lives in another apartment in the building where the stabbings took place, said he was watching Monday Night Football and did not hear any disturbance.

Jackson described his fiancee as a "nervous wreck" and said she wants to move out of the building.

"You hate to hear about [the stabbings], but you're glad its not a break-in or a home invasion," Jackson said. "You're not safe anywhere."

Calumet Area detectives are investigating.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.


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