SCHAUMBURG, Ill. - The sister of Tiffany Thrasher, who was raped and murdered in her Schaumburg apartment, shares her heartbreak and anger as her family files a lawsuit in hopes of preventing this from happening to anyone else.
The first thing Misty King had to say was that her sister is not a statistic, but instead someone who was loved and tragically lost.
"She was a person, she had people who loved her. She loved people," King said.
King spoke out for the first time since her 33-year-old sister was raped and murdered in her apartment in the northwest suburb in April.
"She was loving, giving, one of a kind," she said. "She had a smile that would literally light up a room and make you feel welcomed and loved."
King has struggled to deal with the loss of her sister.
"Knowing she won't call me anymore at seven o'clock in the morning on her way to work, you know, that's the hardest," said King.
Thrasher's family is now filing a civil lawsuit against her former apartment management company for renting to her alleged killer, Bulmaro Mejia-Maya. He was a construction worker who lived in the same complex.
Mejia-Maya is charged with raping and strangling Thrasher before fleeing to Florida.
The lawsuit accuses the management company, as well as Mejia-Maya's employer, of neglecting to follow Schaumburg's crime-free program ordinance that would have required Mejia-Maya to submit a criminal background check.
"Had they done a criminal background check they would have found out that the man who murdered and raped my client had a very significant history of violent offenses," said Craig Brown, the family's attorney.
"If those simple steps would have been followed, you know, the tragedy wouldn't have happened. She would still be here," King said.
Home Properties, the apartment management company, issued the following statement:
"We were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident, and our thoughts are with the victim's friends, family and loved ones. We are aware of the lawsuit that was filed today, but as a matter of company policy, Home Properties does not comment on ongoing litigation."