Jahmeshia Conner

The beaten and strangled body of 12-year-old Jahmeshia Conner was found in an Englewood alley on Nov. 30, 2009, two weeks after she was reported missing.

The crime horrified Chicagoans; Democratic U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush delivered her eulogy. But it remains unsolved.

Jahmeshia was last seen alive on Nov. 16 at a bus stop about a half-mile from an aunt's home. Her family reported her missing a day after she disappeared, and Chicago police immediately launched an investigation. As part of that inquiry, detectives generated a missing-persons alert about Jahmeshia, but it was never released to the media.

Supt. Jody Weis subsequently announced that the department would review the way it releases alerts about missing persons, and the number of alerts sent to the media rose sharply.

A year later, on a rainy November afternoon, a handful of Jahmeshia's family and friends gathered by the boarded-up garage where her body was found. They prayed that someone with information would come forward to help solve the murder.

"She fought until she couldn't fight anymore," said Sheila Powell, Jahmeshia's aunt. "We have a predator out there and (authorities and the public) are not saying anything. If it was a well-to-do neighborhood, we would know everything. We don't know anything."

-- by Gary Marx and David Jackson

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