Worth family waits for answers on 18-year-old woman’s death
BY BOB OKON firstname.lastname@example.org November 10, 2013 5:46PM
A memorial set up in honor of Brittany Wawrzyniak at a park near 115th St. and Beloit Ave in Worth. | Donna Vickroy~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 12, 2013 12:31PM
Brittany Wawrzyniak’s family is waiting for answers on why she died Friday night.
Worth police have released few details about the death of the 18-year-old woman other than that she was found when police were called to an accident with injuries. Police also said the investigation has led to the arrest of a Midlothian man on a drug charge.
“We don’t know what happened,” her mother, Rebecca Tully, of Worth, said Sunday.
Tully, overwhelmed with grief, could not say much more other than, “All I know is it’s an ongoing investigation.”
But the family has faith in the police investigation, said Jeanie Hughes, a close friend of Tully’s. They hope to begin learning more from police in the coming days.
“We do believe that Brittany was a victim of violent crime,” Hughes said. But, she added that belief is based on rumors and not what police have told them.
“It’s really difficult,” Hughes said. “The family is religious. They’re just keeping their faith right now.”
A vigil is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday night at 115th Street and Beloit Avenue, the area where Wawryzyniak was found.
Friends have set up a Brittany Wawrzyniak Memorial Fund, which can be found on RIP Wawrzyniak Facebook page. Hughes said the family had no insurance for Wawrzyniak.
Wawrzyniak graduated from Alan B. Shepard High School in Palos Heights and was studying at the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago.
Worth police on Sunday issued a statement about an arrest that came through the death investigation.
Eric Steven Johnson, 20, of Midlothian was arrested for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance. He is scheduled to appear Monday at the Cook County Criminal Court building at 26th Street and California Avenue in Chicago.
The police statement only said Johnson’s arrest was part of an ongoing death investigation but did not explain what connection he may have had to Wawrzyniak on Friday night. Police have not even identified Wawrzyniak as the victim. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has identfied her but referred questions about the death to police.
Another statement on the Friday incident said that police responded at 8 p.m. to a report of an accident with injuries at 7425 W. 115th St. and found an 18-year-old female who had suffered fatal injuries.
Police have not described the accident.
Worth police are asking that anyone with information about the incident contact them at (708) 448-3979. The South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force has joined the investigation into Wawrzyniak’s death.