Residents of a South Side senior housing high-rise sorted through rumors and few answers on Monday after an 87-year-old woman was beaten to death in their apartment building over the weekend.
“She lived on the same floor as me. She was such a nice woman,” said a man sitting on a bench outside the Lincoln Perry Apartments at 3245 S. Prairie Avenue. “I had tears in my eyes when I heard that, I couldn’t believe it.”
Mae Brown was found unresponsive in a wheelchair in her 9th floor apartment around 3.40pm on Saturday after someone told police she could not be reached, officials said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
An autopsy determined that Brown suffered head and facial trauma, and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Residents told the Sun-Times they had heard rumors about what happened, but nothing official from police. No one was reported in custody.
The man who lived on his floor — and who did not want to be identified — said he spoke with Brown often.
“I was talking to her all the time in the laundry room,” he said. “I was going there and we were talking, you know, just conversations…Man, I’m telling you, it just took my whole life.”
Another resident said the attack left him “a bit shaken”.
“Once in a while I make sure the old door is locked,” said Lawrence, who has lived in the building for four years. He didn’t want his last name used. “Security needs to be tightened.”
Brenda Perry, 75, has lived in the building for about 15 years and said conditions have worsened over the years.
City records show the building has been cited in recent years for malfunctioning elevators and heating units as well as debris and trash, peeling paint and lack of smoke detectors.
“When I moved here about 15 years ago, it was a beautiful building — clean, beautiful grounds, flowers, trees, everything,” Perry said. “Then they just let it deteriorate.”