GREATER GRAND CROSSING — After several days without answers in the fatal shooting of a family member, three women set out on a search of their own.
Late last week, Marissa Boyd-Stingley's aunt, cousin and grandmother went door-to-door canvassing the area a block from their home in the Grand Crossing neighborhood where the young woman was killed earlier in the week.
Police on Monday said they had no new information on the incident June 25, during which Boyd-Stingley was in a car with four other people in the 7300 block of South King Drive when another car pulled alongside the group and opened fire.
But days after her death, Boyd-Stingley's family said they were still in the dark as to why she was in the car that night with people whom she likely just met in the few days prior to her death.
"I'm getting to the bottom of the matter," said Boyd-Stingley's aunt Clarice Stingley, as the trio began knocking on doors near where her niece was killed. "There's a whole lot of pieces to this puzzle that don't fit."
One neighbor led to another, and then another as the women gathered pieces of the puzzle. One man they spoke to heard the shots that night and suggested they walk about a half block east, pointing to a nearby fire hydrant, where the vehicle had come to rest.
Another neighbor, 80-year-old Shirley Tate, said she had seen a body covered with a blue sheet laying beside the vehicle after the shooting that night.
"We have to get involved ... 'cause it's not going to end here," Tate said. "I have a grandson, and I'm not glad he's in jail, but I can sleep at night because I know where he is.
"I'm so sad for y'all's loss," she called out as the women continued in search of evidence — police tape, dried blood or shattered glass — none of which were present.
After eight stops and about an hour of searching, the three returned home, having learned little more than when they left.
According to her grandmother, Pearl Stingley, Boyd-Stingley decided to come home from school a few months ago after her mother, Nortasha Stingley, fell down and was knocked unconscious. Boyd-Stingley, who loved doing hair and make-up for relatives, was in the process of transferring to the City Colleges of Chicago when she was killed.
"She said, 'Mama, I'm coming home.' ... We were making plans to enroll her in Richard Daley College," her mother said from the family's porch, still without answers in her daughter's death.
Her daughter's childhood friend, Latrice Jones, 21, came by with a blue stuffed bear that Boyd-Stingley picked out for her on a trip the two had taken to a Minnesota church conference. Blue was Boyd-Stingley's favorite color.
Stingley, tears in her eyes, pulled the bear up to her face and inhaled, and then hugged and kissed it.
"I'm just trying to figure things out," she said.