Missing girl found dead in South Side alley

November 30, 2009 (CHICAGO) Jahmeshia Conner's family says she's been missing since November 15.

Conner's body was found Monday morning in the 6400-block of South Marshfield Avenue, about a block from her home.

Police were awaiting autopsy results Tuesday before they will confirm the body they found is that of the 12-year-old. Family members say they have identified the body and believe it is her.

Family members say a passerby early Monday morning noticed the body of the girl in an alley in the 6400-block of South Marshfield. Grieving family members gathered there Monday night.

"She was a lovely, caring girl. I just want them to find out who did this to my child," said Birdie Lewis, mother.

Lewis and other family members say they have been searching for Conner for the last two weeks. They say the fifth grader at O'Toole Elementary School was a good student who loved to sing and was very involved at her church.

"A beautiful smile, a bright young lady. This is a tragic loss and the church is taking it hard just like the family," said Rev. Darron Bowden, Park Manor Christian Church.

Police say she was last seen at a bus stop at 64th and Racine on the night of November 15. She had left church and was on her way home. She never made it.

A family spokesperson says he believes police have leads but nothing solid; nothing to explain where she was for the last two weeks or how her body wound up in an alley.

"She was a good girl. I don't understand why," said Rita McMurray, cousin.

Activists have assisted the family in searching for Conner. They say she was one of several missing young people in the city. Andrew Holmes says authorities should issue an Amber Alert for each case.

"If they had indeed put these kids on TV, this baby might still be living with the public's help," said Holmes.

Family members first called ABC7 for help on November 21. They also filed a police report. Police told ABC7 at the time they had no reason to suspect foul play.

The family's minister says Conner never left home on her own before. Police treated the case as a runaway case. Police are still investigating.

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