DOLTON, Ill. - A 17-year-old girl who was nearly six months pregnant was fatally shot Christmas night in Dolton, Ill., but doctors were able to save the baby she was carrying, authorities said Thursday, according to CBS Chicago.
Eva Casara was shot in the back of the head and discovered in the snow around 8 p.m. Wednesday 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. Doctors were able to save the baby, reports the station.
“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 is struggling to deal with the death while also keeping vigil for Eva’s daughter, who weighs 1 pound, 5 ounces. They have named the little girl Laylani, according to the station.
“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 told CBS Chicago the neighborhood where the young woman was found, about 20 miles south of Chicago, is normally quiet.
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,” Police Chief Franklin said.