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Missing woman found dead in Chicago Lawn backyard was strangled

Karalynn McNicholas | Chicago Police

A missing woman who was found dead in a Chicago Lawn neighborhood backyard in May had been strangled, authorities have determined.

About 7 a.m. on May 11, officers responded to a 911 call from a resident who saw a woman’s body in their backyard in the 6100 block of South Maplewood, according to Chicago police.

She was identified as 18-year-old Karalynn Ashley McNicholas, according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. She had been reported missing, having last been seen about 8:30 p.m. the previous day near her home in the area of 111th Street and Central Park Avenue.

An autopsy at the time did not rule on the cause and manner of her death, but investigators have since determined that McNicholas was strangled, the medical examiner’s office said Tuesday. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Police initially reported that her body had no visible signs of trauma.