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An Illinois woman who was reported missing on New Year’s Day was found dead in the trunk of her car, leaving police searching for answers.
Sureel Dabawala, a 34-year-old resident of Schaumburg, was reported missing on January 1 after she failed to return on December 30 to the home she shared with her family, Schaumburg police said in a release issued last week. Chicago police then told the department that they’d been notified on Monday night at around 8:45 p.m. that a body had been recovered from a 2011 white Lexus sedan that was owned by Dabawala and that she was last seen driving, according to another release.
Schaumburg police said on Tuesday that her car had been found in Chicago, on the 200 block of N. Kilpatrick Avenue. The vehicle has since been towed for processing, Chicago police spokeswoman Kellie Bartoli told Oxygen.com. Dabawala was known to visit Chicago and the surrounding areas.
Detectives with the Chicago Police Department are investigating the incident, which the department is currently considering a death investigation, pending the findings of the Medical Examiner’s Office, Bartoli said.
Chicago police did not confirm the identity of the victim, but the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed to Oxygen.com that the deceased person recovered from the vehicle was indeed Dabawala. While an autopsy has been completed, the results — including the findings of a toxicology report — are still pending, and it may be several weeks before there are any answers, according to the office.
Because the case is still pending and the police investigation is still in progress, the office declined to comment as to whether or not there were any signs of trauma on Dabawala’s body.
Dabawala was considered a missing endangered person because of an unnamed medical condition, Schaumburg police previously said.
Following the discovery of her body, her sister, who asked to remained anonymous, said in a statement obtained by the Chicago Tribune that what happened to Dabawala was “devastating,” and issued a warning to readers.
“This is someone who had her MBA from Loyola (University Chicago). I feel like it’s important for people to know that something like this could happen to anybody, not just people living in a dangerous neighborhood or anything like that,” she said. “It could happen to anyone’s sister, mom, kid. She was a very smart girl, a very lively person. It’s just devastating.”
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