CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson invited the community to an open discussion Thursday to help clear up the social media firestorm surrounding the death of two women and others who have been reported missing.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports cameras were not allowed in the community meeting portion, but Supt. Eddie Johnson made it clear that the two women found dead in recent weeks are possibly connected and police have a person of interest.
26-year-old Shanteiya Smith was found dead last week in an abandoned garage. A 15-year-old girl, identified as Sandaria Davis, was found dead in an abandoned apartment after she was reported missing.
The medical examiner’s office has not ruled their deaths homicides as more tests need to be done to determine cause of death.
Police say the same man was seen with both girls before their disappearances. The suspect is being held on an unrelated warrant in Tennessee.
Social media has fueled outrage and speculation of a serial kidnapper on the loose. Police say that is simply not the case.
In recent days, there were as many as six women missing. Four of them have been reunited with family. The other two were found dead.
“If there was a hint of a pattern of a serial kidnapper, whatever you want to call him out there, trust me, we would be on that in a moment’s notice. Of the six cases, only two of them are related,” Supt. Eddie Johnson stated.
Community activist Jedidiah Brown said, “I think today’s meeting was good and we are better equipped to put to rest some of the suspicion in this neighborhood.”
Johnson apologized to the community and the family of Shanteiya Smith for a comment he made yesterday saying both women were involved with drugs and prostitution.
Detectives from the Chicago Police Department are on their way to Tennessee to question the person of interest, but since the deaths of the two females have not officially been ruled as homicides, the suspect is not required to talk with police.