A woman's body was found outside a burning SUV early Friday morning in Chicago's south side Auburn Gresham neighborhood.
Authorities responded to a burning Kia SUV in the 8500 block of South Honore Street about 7:45 a.m., according to police and fire officials.
The body of a female, later identified as Sherita Smith, was found near the vehicle.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed the fatality, but did not release any other details.
Smith's mother, brother and daughter arrived at the scene thinking it was a car accident but were disturbed to discover her burned body was found in the alley.
"She was my mama. Y'all know how it is to have a mama. That was my heart, that was my backbone, that was the person I looked up to," the victim's daughter, Shaniqua Smith, said.
"She was my sister. She was my best friend," Seron Smith said. "My sister was one of the most giving people you would ever want to meet. My sister worked for charities, she worked for the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind for 20 years."
Sherita Smith was Rosetta Smith eldest daughter.
"She worked her whole life, ever since she was 17 years old, continuously, 20 years at one job," Rosetta Smith said. "She was not a bad person, never been to jail, none of that."
Police say autopsy results won't be available until Saturday.
Family members say they don't known where she went Thursday night, but it's not a neighborhood where she had friends.
"I beg of you, just say something. You all have moms, so if I saw something I'd say something, so just say something," Shaniqua Smith said.
The Chicago Police Department's Bomb and Arson Unit were investigating the incident.