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Pregnant Chicago teen killed, baby survives Christmas Day shooting

Updated: January 28, 2014 6:31AM



Before Eva Casara stepped out of her grandmother’s Southwest Side home on Christmas Day, she asked what time food would be ready and said she’d be right back.

But she never returned.

Hours later, police found the 17-year-old girl, 5 ½-months pregnant, shot in the head and left in the snow between two homes in the 1100 block of East 152nd Street in south suburban Dolton.

Doctors were able to keep the teen alive long enough to deliver her baby, who survived the attack, her family said.

“She’s fighting for her little life,” Eva’s grandmother Fannie Casara told the Sun-Times. “She weighs only about a pound and a half.”

Fannie Casara said her granddaughter left her home Wednesday afternoon but didn’t mention where she was going. She also had plans to see her mother in Calumet City. Family members tried to call her repeatedly but her phone went straight to voicemail.

The tragic news came about 3:30 a.m. Thursday, with a police officer knocking on Fannie Casara’s front door.

“They said they found her. They don’t know how long she had been laying there. They had shot her in the back of the head. Her purse was gone, her money was gone, her iPhone was gone. Coat gone. They treated her like a dog and just shot her in the back of the head,” Fannie Casara said.

The teen was rushed to Franciscan St. Margaret Health Hospital in Hammond, Ind., and then transferred to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Dolton Police Chief John C. Franklin said.

Eva went into cardiac arrest three times, her grandmother said. But doctors kept her alive long enough to save the baby.

“When I went to the hospital they had her on a ventilator and she never did regain consciousness,” Fannie Casara said. “They said a bullet went through her brain and she went into cardiac arrest another time and just didn’t make it.”

The baby girl is in the neonatal intensive care unit at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Eva dropped out of high school in September to take care of herself and her baby, but she planned to get a GED and become a nurse, her grandmother said. Fannie Casara said she was the teen’s legal guardian and Eva lived with her in Chicago.

She loved reading and always had a book in her hands, her grandmother said.

“She was very smart. She was tested at 12th grade levels in eighth grade. She said, ‘I’m gonna get my GED and then I’m going to college.’ She wanted to be a nurse, to go on and become an emergency room nurse,” Fannie Casara said.

The grandmother of four was pained at the thought of how long the pregnant teen had been left alone, bleeding in the snow: “Why would they? Why would you shoot her and why would you take her coat and hat and leave her in the ice and snow? . . . I know people do cruel things but she was just a little child, a tiny petite little girl.”

She has no idea who might have killed Eva.

Police said she was shot in the 15200 block of South Dorchester in Dolton, and they found shell casings from a gun — possibly the one used in the crime. Her body was dumped blocks away on East 152nd Street, according to Franklin.

Police also located potential video surveillance from the area where her body was found.

“We’re following up on a lot of leads. [The South Suburban] Major Crimes Task Force are following up on the leads, talking to a lot of people who are potential witnesses. They’re canvassing the area,” Franklin said. “We hope to have this terrible crime solved maybe within another day.”

Franklin said investigators also are looking into social media mentions of the crime. “There are a lot of loose ends but we know this crime is solvable.”

No one was in custody Thursday night.



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