Woman found dead in alcove of First United Methodist Church in Evanston


Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer

Evanston Police investigate at the First United Methodist Church at 516 Church St.

Kristina Karisch, City Editor

A woman was found dead in an alcove outside of the First United Methodist Church in downtown Evanston on Monday in what is being investigated as a homicide.

Evanston Police Department officers responded to a call shortly before noon reporting there was a person in an alcove on the Hinman Street side of the First United Methodist Church, 516 Church St. The 49-year-old woman, who was identified as Tanuel Major in an EPD news release, was homeless at the time of her death and is thought to have frequently been in Evanston.

Police came to investigate at the church, and discovered a person who appeared to be deceased, said Evanston Police Cmdr. Ryan Glew. Police currently do not have a description of the individual. In an email to students, University Police Chief Bruce Lewis said police found an unresponsive woman with signs of trauma. The woman may have died up to 24 hours earlier.

EPD tweeted on Monday afternoon that the death did not appear to be weather related, and that the person is not associated with Northwestern.

Glew said on Wednesday that the woman is was 49 years old, and the death is being investigated as a homicide.

“The cause of death seems to be blunt force trauma to the head,” he said.

No one has been taken into custody, he added. He said her death was “not a random act,” and that a task force investigation is underway.

Police are currently conducting forensic and death investigations, Glew said.

Colin Boyle and Cameron Cook contributed reporting.
This article was updated just before 7 p.m. on Monday and about 9 p.m., and on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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Twitter: @kristinakarisch