Woman identified after found beaten to death in Englewood home, Chicago police say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A woman found beaten to death Wednesday in an Englewood home has been identified.

Aaliyah Newell, 47, was found unresponsive in a home in the 7200-block of South Vincennes on the city's South Side, according to police.

When police arrived, Newell was already dead, officials said. She had suffered blunt force trauma to the head and her death is being investigated as a homicide.

"She was a beautiful, beautiful soul, and I hate to think what her last moments were like," said Brandy Garris, friend and sorority sister.

Garris said Newell was a family values-oriented woman who was excited to become an aunt.

"Someone truly took an angel away on this earth, we don't know why," she said.

Newell was known for her bright smile, and was a bright light to those who loved her most.

"She was definitely authentic. You were going to get Aaliyah Newell and nothing else," Garris said.

Garris and Newell met while attending the University of Illinois are were close Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sisters.

"Everyone loved Aaliyah. Everyone did. She was your sister, she was your mother, she was your confidant," she said.

Newell worked as a human resources recruiter and college adjunct professor. Her death was sudden and shocking to her loved ones.

"My first thought was, this can't be real," said Garris. "We experienced so much trauma lately. We're tired of it, tired of it in Chicago and tired of it in our Black and brown community."

Police said no one is currently in custody and no description of any suspect has been released. An investigation is ongoing.

A candlelight vigil will be held Friday to honor Newell.
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