Watch CBS News

Granddaughter says she called for wellbeing check on woman, 96, found in Portage Park freezer

What happened to 96-year-old woman whose body was found in freezer?
What happened to 96-year-old woman whose body was found in freezer? 02:02

CHICAGO (CBS) -- New details have emerged about the horrific discovery of the body of a 96-year-old woman in a freezer in Portage Park.

Michalski Family

The woman was identified by family members as Regina Michalski.

Flowers and candles have been left in front of the garage where Chicago Police discovered the freezer with the body of the 96-year-old woman inside.

The detached garage is behind a two-flat on Melrose Street near Central Avenue.

New details on body of elderly woman found in Portage Park freezer 01:29

The woman's granddaughter, who lives out of state, said she called Chicago Police and asked them to conduct a wellbeing check – and that was when police made the gruesome discovery.

"I didn't expect them to find what they found," said Sabrina Watson. "I'm glad they did."

Watson described her grandmother as, "Very nice, very sweet – always had a smile and said, 'Oh, hello!'"

Watson lives in Kentucky. She felt something was wrong, so she called Chicago Police to check in on her grandmother Monday.

She said she told dispatchers: "I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt she's alive at 96. So could you please just go to the property and knock on the door or look around?"

Indeed police found a decomposed body in the freezer in the garage.

Watson said her estranged mother is the landlord of the property and lives there too. Neighbors said the landlord recently told conflicting stories about Michalski's whereabouts.

"She was telling different neighbors different stories," said Brigette Yanez, who lives in the same two-flat. "Like some people, she was saying she was in a nursing home in Wisconsin. To other people, she had already passed away. And to me, she was still talking about her, like she was still alive."

"I'm sorry I didn't call last Christmas," added Watson. "I'm sorry I didn't call earlier."

Details on elderly woman found in Portage Park freezer 02:15

Chicago police haven't announced any arrests. The tenants said they have not heard from or seen their landlord.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.