Relatives of Theresa Bunn said that the 21-year-old expectant mother was excited about giving birth. At eight months pregnant, Theresa had already named her bundle of joy, a son, Michael Pierre Terry Bunn, a name given in homage to her 14-year-old brother. This was Theresa’s first child, and while nervous about what was to come, she looked forward to her new future with gleeful anticipation.
Then, on November 12, 2007, Theresa’s body was found in a dumpster near Washington Park in Chicago. She was nude, her body was badly burned, and she had been strangled. Theresa could only be identified through dental records, and because of the condition of her remains, her family decided to hold a vigil in her honor in lieu of a funeral. Family, friends, and mourners gathered together at the place where Theresa’s body was found.
“To me, this is her last place,” said Anthony McCray, Theresa’s father. “It shouldn’t be here. They took our baby and burned her like she was garbage.”
On the morning that Theresa’s body was found, she told relatives that she was going out shopping. Theresa had a mental condition that, her mother worried, may have left her confused when she was out alone.
Over a decade later, detectives are no closer to solving Theresa’s murder. There has been, however, speculation that Chicago has an unknown serial killer who may be responsible for dozens of murders between 2001 and 2017. In that time, 51 women have been strangled in the area, including Theresa and 52-year-old Hazel Lewis whose remains were also found near Washington Park in late 2007. Sixteen of those 51 cases have been closed or solved.
In 2007, Chicago police spokeswoman Monique Bond admitted to reporters, “There are similarities in the manner of death and how the bodies were disposed of,” yet, the DNA in those cases haven’t matched to other cases or anyone in their database. No information they have gathered gives police any indication that they are dealing with a serial killer.
For Theresa Bunn’s family, they stated that the only thing that could come close to giving them a sense of closure would be the arrest and incarceration of the monster that murdered Theresa and her son. Unborn Baby Michael would have been the first grandchild for Theresa’s parents.
“This time it’s our daughter. But it could be your daughter, your niece, your mother,” McCray said. “We, as a community, need to help each other.”
If you have any information concerning the death of Theresa and her unborn child, please contact the Chicago Police Department at (312) 746-6000.
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