$5K reward offered in Far South Side woman's gruesome murder

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A family demanded justice Friday after an 81-year old woman was brutally murdered on Chicago's Far South Side. They offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to her killer.

Editor's Note: This story includes details that may be disturbing.

Thana Muhammad, also known as Jean or Mattie Chandler, was found murdered in her home in the 10000-block of South Forest Avenue. Police said she sustained "severe trauma to her body."

Officers making a well-being check shortly before noon on June 10 discovered her body in storage bins in the basement of her home. Sources told ABC7 Eyewitness News she had been "cut in half."

"She did not deserve this, Chicago," said Muhammad's daughter, Camille Durham. "This is a monster. This is a monster."

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said she may have known her killer.

"They put a lot of thought into what they did," Johnson said. "The crime scene was very clean. They took their time and meticulously tried to hide what they had done."

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office has not determined how or when the woman died. Investigators have not yet determined a motive.

"My mother was a good, kind, heroic woman," said Ashanti Chimurenga, Muhammad's daughter. "I don't know why my mother had to die such a horrendous death."

"Beautiful person. Strong. Independent. She had ties on the West Side and the South Side. I want to stress that," said Trina Mangerum, Muhammad's niece.

Muhammad, a retired radiologist who lived alone, owned several properties on Chicago's South and West sides. She moved back into the house on Forest about two weeks ago, after renting it out.

Muhammad's car and purse were also stolen, but police said her car was found Thursday on the city's West Side.

Family members said they can't imagine who would want to hurt Muhammad, who they said was a beloved fixture in many communities.

Police have reviewed several angles of home surveillance video. Area South detectives are handling the investigation.

Anyone with information about the murder should call detectives at 312-747-8271.
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