By Audrina Bigos

(CBS) – A Schaumburg woman was raped and strangled in her apartment just before Easter.

For the first time, Tiffany Thrasher’s family is speaking out and taking legal action against the apartment management and the company that employed the alleged killer.

CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos reports.

Just 33 years old, Trasher was a woman of faith who rescued dogs and served in her church.

“She was there for everything,” her sister, Misty King, says.

So, it was a red flag when Tiffany didn’t show up for choir rehearsal on Easter weekend.

tiffany thrasher Civil Suit Filed In Rape, Strangling At Schaumburg Apartment Complex

Tiffany Thrasher (Photo supplied to CBS)

Easter Sunday, she was found dead in her apartment at the Lakes Complex, where she had just moved in the month before.

“This shouldn’t happen to anybody. Tiffany moved in that apartment, she felt safe,” King says.

Tiffany’s neighbor – 29-year-old migrant construction worker Bulmaro Mejia-Maya — is accused of raping and strangling her.

“They allowed this person to live here  — in that apartment, in close proximity to her, and they never should have,” family attorney Craig Brown says.

Brown says Mejia-Maya’s violent past included criminal records in several states.

The family has filed a civil suit against Home Properties, which owns and operates the complex. Brown says the management company failed to comply with Schaumburg’s crime-free housing ordinance, and he claims they didn’t do a background check.

“Had they done a background check, there’s no way in the world, obviously, they would have allowed that man to live in that apartment complex, and Tiffany would be here today,” Brown says.

The owners of Home Properties say they are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic incident but declined comment on pending litigation.

No trial date has been set for Mejia-Maya.


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