Girl, 12, Missing for 2 Weeks Found Dead

Jahmeshia Conner was last seen Nov. 15

By BJ Lutz and Alex Perez
|  Tuesday, Dec 1, 2009  |  Updated 1:44 PM CDT
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Jahmeshia Conner

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Girl's Body Found in Alley Blocks from Home

Jahmeshia Conner, a fifth grader at O'Toole Elementary School, was last seen Nov. 15.
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The mother of a young girl whose body was found in an alley Monday morning says she just doesn't understand the crime.

"I just don't understand why they would do that to a child," Birdie Lewis said. "That's a child."

Her daughter, 12-year-old Jahmeshia Conner, was found dead in the 6400 block of South Marshfield, just blocks away from her home.  Family members told the Chicago Tribune it appeared from the photos that Jahmeshia may have been beaten.

The fifth grader at O'Toole Elementary School was last seen Nov. 15. She'd attended choir practice that day and paid a visit to her aunt. She left there saying that she was going to catch a block for the 8 block trip to her house, but she never made it.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children referred to her as an "endangered runaway," but her mother said that wasn't the case.

"It was out of ordinary. It was out of her character. Because I can't see her just up and disappearing like that," Lewis said.

There are city cameras near the alley where the young girl's body was found, and her mother is hoping anyone who saw what happened will speak up.

"I'm not going to rest until I get closure. Once I get closure, (then) maybe I'll be at peace with myself," Lewis said.  "She was my child.  She was my baby."

An autopsy will be performed Tuesday to determine her cause of death, authorities said.

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