West Ridge landlord's remains found in apartment, at Foster Beach after reported missing

ByLeah Hope, Tre Ward, and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
North Side landlord's remains found in apartment freezer: CPD
Chicago police have opened a homicide investigation after finding what they believe are the remains of a landlord in West Ridge.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police believe they have found the remains of a landlord of a West Ridge boarding house who was reported missing by one of her tenants.

Police said they were called to the 5900-block of North Washtenaw Monday night for a wellbeing check on the missing woman's apartment after a tenant said they hadn't seen her.

During that wellbeing check, police said they found human remains in the freezer of the landlord's apartment. Police said they believe the remains are the woman's.

"They eventually discovered human remains in a freezer, at which point we backed out of the residence to secure a search warrant to go back in and retrieve all evidence properly," said Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.

Neighbor Phoebe Salzmann said she went by her neighbor's house Sunday night while walking her dog, and now has a memory she can't shake.

"Then, I thought it was strange because I thought, 'Why is she coming out of the house towards the street when her trash can is in the back?'" Salzmann said.

Police said residents told them they'd seen another tenant of the boarding house get help from a tow truck driver with a heavy plastic garbage bag. CPD said that led officers to evidence in a lakefront garbage can on Foster Beach, in which more remains were found.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said the remains found in the garbage can were not human. CPD said bloody towels or rags were also inside the garbage can.

Detectives tracked down the tow truck driver, who led them to a person of interest who police said they took into custody.

"The tow truck driver explained that individual pulled a knife on him, so officers responded to that scene and placed that suspect into custody," Deenihan said.

Neighbors said the woman was active in the neighborhood, kind and spent a lot of time with her dog. They said she offered shelter to women in need and played piano at two local churches. They were in shock someone would do something like this to her.

Chicago police have opened a homicide investigation. No charges have yet been filed. Neither police nor the Cook County Medical Examiner have identified the victim. Police have also not identified the suspect nor offered a motive.