Pregnant woman ID'd as victim found fatally shot in Chatham alley, medical examiner, family says

ByEric Horng and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, February 22, 2024
Body found in South Side alley ID'd as pregnant woman, family says
Itzel Camarena, who was 6 months pregnant, was dead in an alley Sunday on South Vernon Avenue in Chatham, the medical examiner and family said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A woman who was found dead Sunday morning in an alley on the city's South Side has been identified by her family.

Relatives told ABC7 24-year-old Itzel Camarena was six months pregnant.

Camarena's body was discovered around 9 a.m. Sunday between two trash cans in the 8200 block of South Vernon Avenue in the Chatham neighborhood, Chicago police said.

She had a wound on her neck area and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner said Camarena died from a gunshot wound to the face. Police did not initially say the woman was shot.

Camarena's family is overcome with grief, and her mother is desperate for answers. Vanessa Sanchez said her nightmare began with a phone call.

"She's like, 'The detectives want you to come identify the body.' And I'm like, 'What are you talking about?'" she recalled.

Relatives said Camarena was excited about motherhood, and dreamed of one day starting a cosmetics business. Her mother is left with far more questions than answers.

"I just want answers. I want to know who did it to my baby, to my oldest," she said through tears. "And I can't believe it happened to... to my family, to me, to my daughter, to her unborn baby. She was six months."

Relatives said Camarena was waiting to learn her baby's gender, but if she had a daughter she wanted to name her Itzayana, which means "gift from God."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Camarena's family.

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