CHICAGO (CBS) — A 19-year-old woman who was reportedly on winter break from college was found dead late Friday in an apartment in the East Chatham neighborhood.
A man was in custody late Saturday with charges pending.
Around 10 p.m. Friday, officers were called to the 8100 block of South Maryland Avenue. A witness reported hearing a gunshot while the woman, identified as Lyniah Bell, was in the bedroom.
Bell was found shot in the head.
Police said her death might have been related to domestic violence.
“The family is not taking it pretty well. You know, this is our baby girl. There’s questions that are unanswered; still a lot of question marks. Why did it happen?” Bell’s cousin, Sam Brown, told CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross.
Brown said he had known Bell since she was a baby, and felt “hurt” and “broken” upon hearing of her death.
“She was very educated. She was a scholar; very respectful. She wasn’t into the streets. I just feel like she was caught up into love, and you know, sometimes love hurts you,” Brown said.
Brown said he was home in bed, when he got a call from Bell’s mother, whom he described as “very distraught.”
“She was screaming. I couldn’t understand what she was saying. But it was clear that something had happened to her daughter,” Brown said. “It was like I lost my own child. It was like somebody shot me.”
Bell graduated from the North Lawndale College Prep Collins campus, 1313 S. Sacramento Dr., last school year. The charter high school said she was home from Michigan State University during winter break.
“To know Lyniah was to love her. A Peace Warrior and National Honors Society inductee, her extracurriculars included Theatre club, Hoops High, and CAPS (student instructor program),” North Lawndale College Prep President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Garland Thomas-McDavid said in a news release. “We just can’t say enough good about the positive impact she had on the school community. She will be missed dearly, and our hearts grieve alongside her mother and family.”
North Lawndale College Prep will be offering support to students and staff in need on the Collins campus, on Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Counseling resources, and opportunities to create expressions that will be delivered to Bell’s family, will also be available.
Police said a person was in custody in Bell’s slaying as of Saturday.