Chicago police have suspect in Pilsen murder, but need more evidence

FOX 32 NEWS - Chicago police are looking for fresh leads in a high-profile murder last year, and they believe the public has the answers.

Aaren O’Connor, 25, was sitting in her car in the Pilsen neighborhood talking on her cellphone when she was caught in gang crossfire and shot in the head.

A bouquet of flowers, a candle and a handmade sign mark the spot where Aaren O’Connor was shot a year and two days ago. Now, Chicago police say they're close to catching her killer.

"To put it in sports terms we're in the red zone with this case. We just need a little more help from the community,” said Lt. Ozzie Valdez.

Police on Tuesday said they have a suspect in mind, a known gang member, but not quite enough evidence to charge the person.

O’Connor had moved to Chicago from San Diego to be with her boyfriend and was working at a suburban toy company.

O'Connor lived in the 2000 block of West 21st Street in the Pilsen neighborhood. She was actually sitting in her car right in front of her home, talking to her sister on her cellphone when shots rang out.

"Her younger sister heard this on the phone and came to me very troubled by what had happened and said there's something wrong,” said father David O’Connor.

Aaren had been shot in the head, caught in the middle of gang crossfire. She died at Stroger Hospital two days later.

Police say they have ballistic evidence and circumstantial evidence, but need an eyewitness.

"So we're asking that if anyone saw anything, heard anything, even that day or now, if you please come forward,” Valdez said.

“Aaren was a beautiful, talented hardworking young woman,” said friend Sarah Moen.

Sarah Moen was a friend and co-worker who helped set up a travel scholarship in Aaren's name.

"We're happy to be hearing the news story getting back out there and getting the community involved again and making sure people are aware we still haven't caught her killer,” Moen said.

On Tuesday, Aaren's boyfriend and family visited her grave in San Diego. Her father told FOX 32 by phone that Chicago needs to change.

"This violence really needs to come to a close, and the only way that's going to happen is the community is going to have to decide that it's going to step forward and do that,” dad said.

If you have any information that might be helpful to police, you're encouraged to call police.