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Woman Dead 6 Years Receives Jury Summons After Also Receiving Unemployment Card, Social Security Numbers Of Others

ALSIP, Ill. (CBS) -- Her family laid her to rest almost six years ago, but the State of Illinois keeps thinking Shirley Urbauer is still alive.

After another mailing for her, Shirley's family is trying to figure out why.

With COVID-19 numbers down and juries back in session at the Daley Center in Chicago, Shirley from Alsip was sent a summons to appear in the next few weeks.

It's the eighteenth time the state or county have mailed her. Her family says it's enough.

"You never stop missing someone. You never stop wanting to talk to them one more time, see them one more time, anything," said Shirley's son Joe Urbauer. "Why my mother? Why my family? For the state to just keep sending something. It just, all the emotions come back."

Those emotions have come back like clockwork.

Last fall CBS 2 reported how Shirley, deceased for almost six years, was mailed the social security numbers of 16 strangers from the state unemployment office. Last Christmas she received a debit card from the state for a job loss. That was believed to be triggered by pandemic scammers.

And then last week happened.

"It's unbelievable," said Joe.

The same state that issued her death certificate just won't let her legacy rest.

"I said, 'This cant be true,'" Joe said.

But it is.

"The newest member of the scorecard is a jury summons for my mother, whose been deceased almost six years now," Joe said.

It arrived Friday from Cook County.

"I don't understand. If you check it against the death database, she's been dead almost six years," he said.

So CBS2 dug in to help clear it up. We learned, the court does not check that database. A Cook County Courts spokesperson said potential juror names come from two places: state boards of election rolls and names issued drivers license and state IDs.

We checked. Shirley's name came from a Secretary of State list from 2017. Even though she had died by then, her ID was still active, and that list isn't updated every time someone dies; it's updated every four years.

So that's how a summons for Shirley ended up in her old mailbox.

"Its unbelievable," Joe said. "Let her rest in peace."

The county courts spokesperson says families like the Urbauers should send them a letter, including a copy of an obituary, mass card, or death certificate to formally take that person off our jury list. Joe sent the letter back return to sender with the words "Great Job Illinois" written across it.

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