Rewards offered in Lawndale murder

April 13, 2010 4:18:48 PM PDT
The search continues for a suspect in the murder of a 57-year-old woman who was known for helping those in need in her Lawndale neighborhood.

The decomposed body of Regina McGraw was found Monday night in her second-story apartment in the 900-block of South Sacramento. On Tuesday, friends and family held a vigil for the woman, who relatives say opened her home to those who needed shelter and fed those who were hungry.

"It's really sad that they did this to my sister. And I just pray that the people in this community come together. And just come together and say what they know," said Kevin McGraw, victim's brother.

Police believe robbery may have been the motive. A flat screen TV and some family heirlooms are missing.

"You robbed my sister. You took what she had. But you could have left her life. You killed her and took her merchandise," said Zelda McGraw, victim's sister. "There's not a rock in Chicago you can crawl up under. I would advise you to turn yourself into the police."

"It's sad the killing, the senseless killing," said David McGraw.

Her body was found by a neighbor who noticed the door to McGraw's apartment was ajar.

"I went in and seen a knife and blood. I called the authorities," said Taylor.

The Rev. Jerry McGraw, who raised Regina, is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator.

"Regina was a sweet person. She gave her heart out to everyone," said Jerry McGraw, the victim's uncle. "I used to tell her, 'Regina, you can't allow everybody in your house - you just can't do it.'"

"The neighborhood loved my sister. She was a very good person. She didn't bother anyone," said Zelda. "If you didn't have no food, she would give you food."

The Reverend Robin Hood also said his church and another community group, Mothers Opposed to Violence, are also offering a $1,000 reward.

"She fed the homeless on days that they were feeding in different shelters," said Rev. Hood.

"She didn't bother nobody and she didn't take nothing from nobody. She didn't deserve this. And whoever did it, I have been praying all night, that justice prevails," said David McGraw.

"It's so sad that the community is not coming together to prevent these things from happening. They're turning their heads to this violence and they're condoning it," said Kevin McGraw.

McGraw's funeral will be scheduled for sometime next week on the South Side.