Elderly woman found stabbed to death after fire identified

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CHICAGO (STMW) - An elderly woman who was found fatally stabbed after an apartment fire early Monday in the South Side Washington Park neighborhood has been identified.

Josephine Johnson, 89, was discovered by firefighters in an apartment about 2:50 a.m. in a three-story building in the 5100 block of South Michigan, according to Fire Media Affairs and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The fire appears to have started in her first-floor apartment, where she was found with multiple stab wounds, authorities said.

Johnson was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 3:03 a.m., authorities said. An autopsy found she died of multiple blunt and sharp force injuries from an assault, and her death was ruled a homicide.

A man, also thought to be in his 80s, was on the third floor when firefighters arrived. He suffered from smoke inhalation and was taken in serious-to-critical condition to the University of Chicago, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said.

“Smoke inhalation at that age is serious,” Langford said, adding the man appeared to be in “good shape.”

The fire was extinguished within 15 minutes. Langford said the cause of the blaze is thought to be suspicious in nature.

Chicago Police did not have any updates on the case Thursday morning.