(CBS) -- A 17-year-old girl who was nearly six months pregnant was fatally shot Christmas night in south suburban Dolton, but doctors were able to save the baby she was carrying, authorities said Thursday.
Eva Casara was shot in the back of the head and discovered in the snow around 8 p.m. Wednesday in the 1100 block of East 152nd Street between two residences, Dolton Police Chief John C. Franklin said.
She was transported to St. Margaret's Hospital, where it was discovered she was 22 weeks to 25 weeks pregnant, he said. The teen was transferred to Christ Hospital and pronounced dead at 11 a.m. Thursday, but doctors were able to save the baby.
"It's horrible. Our prayers and our thoughts are with the family at this time," Franklin said of the shooting. "It's unimaginable to lose a child on such a holy day."
Casara's family was both trying to deal with the girl's murder and keep vigil for Eva's daughter, who weighs 1 pound, 5 ounces. They've named the little girl Lailani.
"She was a loving girl," the victim's distraught mother, Estrellita, said Thursday night as she implored the public for help in catching the killer. "Help me with my princess."
The mother said Casara awoke happy Christmas Day and went to meet friends. She ended up in Dolton, likely dumped after she'd been shot elsewhere, police said.
"I want my baby back. She didn't deserve that," Estrellita Casara told reporters.
Longtime Dolton resident Audrey Moncado says the neighborhood where the young woman was found is normally quiet.
"I was sitting down. And all of a sudden I heard boom, boom, boom," she said. "I said, 'Oh, somebody's shooting firecrackers off because it's for Christmas.'"
But then police and an ambulance showed up, and Moncado learned about the shooting.
"It's sad. The world's getting very sad," she said.
Anyone with information is urged to call the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force or the Dolton Police Department at (708) 201-3200.
"I understand the task force has some very good leads. We're following up on that, and we hope to have this terrible crime solved probably within a day or so," Franklin said.
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