Family, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sisters demand justice following killing of Aaliyah Newell

Aaliyah Newell was found beaten inside her home in the 7200 block of South Vincennes Avenue on Wednesday shortly before 7 p.m. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Cynthia Newell (left), mother of Aaliyah Newell, hugs Dawn Pope, a friend and sorority sister of Aaliyah’s, during a vigil for Aaliyah Newell outside her family home on Friday, March 25, 2022.

Cynthia Newell (left), mother of Aaliyah Newell, hugs Dawn Pope, a friend and sorority sister of Aaliyah’s, during a vigil for Aaliyah Newell outside her family home on Friday. Aaliyah was found beaten to death earlier in the week in Englewood.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Cynthia Newell wore dark sunglasses and pulled the hood of her jacket over her head as it began pouring Friday night, but you could still see the tears flowing down her cheek as her face was hit with rain.

“My daughter was murdered in her own community,” Cynthia Newell said. “Somebody murdered her and we want that person to be found. We want justice.”

Family and friends of 47-year-old Aaliyah Newell gathered Friday outside the home where she had been killed just two nights earlier. Many wore pink-and-green jackets and scarves as an homage to Aaliyah Newell’s sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Her mother was held in the arms of others almost every moment during the vigil, as people offered condolences, shaking her hand or giving her a hug and a kiss.

As more and more paid their respects, each encounter seemed to become more difficult for the grieving mother.

Cynthia Newell said the family has no idea who could have killed her daughter. Chicago police have been communicating with her but are still coming up short.

“The people who knew her, knew she was a really bright person,” Newell said. “She loved people and that’s what I want people to know about her.”

Aaliyah Newell was found beaten inside her home in the 7200 block of South Vincennes Avenue on Wednesday, shortly before 7 p.m. She was pronounced dead at the scene due to blunt force trauma to the head.

“I was absolutely devastated when I heard the news because she’s not the kind of person that would just let someone into her home. … She wasn’t a person that was careless,” said Dawn Pope, a close friend of Aaliyah Newell. “It is just hard to think that someone could do that to her because she’s a very happy person and has such a good heart.”

Pope said she’s been crying almost constantly since finding out her sorority sister was killed and there are no solid leads on who did it. She urges the killer to turn themselves in to give family and friends closure.

“I wish they would come forward even though there will be consequences,” Pope said. “This was very brutal. She didn’t deserve it. And at least help bring closure for her friends, her family and those that loved her.”

Chicago police attended the vigil, passing out flyers seeking information about the killing.

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha attended a vigil on Friday, March 25, 2022 for their slain sorority sister Aaliyah Newell outside Newell’s Englewood home.

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha attended a vigil on Friday for their slain sorority sister Aaliyah Newell outside Newell’s Englewood home.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

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