Woman found beaten to death

April 12, 2010 4:19:59 PM PDT
A suspect has been charged in the fatal beating of a North Chicago woman over the weekend.

The body of Jeanenne Cohn, 41, was found in the back yard of a home in the 4100-block of Victoria.

Carol Cohn, the victim's mother, said four generations of women lived in their home in North Chicago. Now the cycle has been broken with the death of her daughter.

"Jeanenne was my only child and she was a joy to everyone she came in contact with," said Carol Cohn. "This is a tragic death."

Cohn learned Saturday morning that her daughter had been murdered. Cohn said that her daughter went to the store Friday night and she never returned home.

"She was real friendly," said Jean Curry, the victim's grandmother. "Everyone just loved Jean."

The Lake County Coroner's Office said the victim was found in the backyard of a deserted home. Friends say the victim would shop late at night at the local liquor and grocery store near the scene of the murder.

Myron Blair, a friend of the victim, said Cohn lived in North Chicago all her life and was a wonderful friend, mother and daughter. Cohn was also a private home healthcare provider for the elderly.

"Jeanine was a beautiful person. She'd give you the shirt off her back. I told her about being out late at night," said Blair. "She would come to the store, and a couple times I would walk her back home because she lived on 18th. The area is really not safe."

North Chicago Police Chief Michael Newsome said that a suspect was in custody and has been charged with first-degree murder.

"We had several leads which led to some evidence at the scene. Some community involvement led to Miguel Otero being brought in for questioning," said North Chicago Police Chief Michael Newsome. "The evidence and the statements made by Mr. Otero - we were able to get first-degree murder charges from the Lake County State's Attorney's Office."

The suspect did not turn himself in, according to Newsome. He also said police did not have a motive yet.

Officials said several 911 calls were made.

"North Chicago paramedics went to the scene. Once they arrived there, they found an unresponsive female," said Newsome. "At that point, they called us and we started the investigation with the Lake County Task Force."

The manager of the grocery store where the victim was last seen alive said he has surveillance cameras in the store but did not see evidence of the suspect on camera. He added that there are a number of police cameras in the area.