Police: Killer entered Schaumburg apartment through unlocked window
Investigators believe Schaumburg resident Tiffany Thrasher's killer entered her apartment through an unlocked ground-floor window, police said Tuesday.
Early evidence also suggests the 33-year-old woman may have been sexually assaulted, though that determination is contingent on crime lab results, police said.
Thrasher's body was discovered Sunday in her apartment on Clipper Drive by police officers responding to a request for a well-being check. Police say she was strangled sometime between 8 p.m. Saturday and 11:45 a.m. Sunday.
As the investigation continued, Thrasher's family and friends said they were struggling to come to grips with her death.
Thrasher's older sister, Misty King of McHenry, created a GoFundMe page Tuesday to raise money for a memorial service. It had reached $785 of its $6,000 goal in four hours.
King's husband, Heath, said any money leftover after the expenses of Thrasher's services will be donated to charity. These could include charities Thrasher was already active with or possibly one dedicated to women who are victims of crimes, he said.
On behalf of the family, he declined any extensive comment on Thrasher's life.
"It's a very tough time for the family," he explained. "We would love anyone with information to contact the Schaumburg Police Department."
A longtime, out-of-state friend, who wished to be unnamed out of concern about the unsolved crime, said the former flight attendant had definitely seen her life on an upward path in the 10 years since she'd settled in the Chicago area near her sister.
During that time, she'd found God and a deep love for Chicago sports -- particularly the Cubs -- which was rewarded by last fall's World Series championship.
"She was an amazing, amazing person," Thrasher's friend said. "She was an uplifting, positive person."
The friend broke into tears as she recalled how much of an impact their contact on social media had meant to her -- something she'd never told Thrasher so directly.
"You could be having the worst day, but whatever she posted would make you smile," she said. "If she knew you were having a rough time, she was always there for you."
The fact Thrasher's life was going so well is what makes her sudden death so rattling to friends, she said.
"This is really crazy that this happened," she said.
Pastor Mike Gates of Living Hope Church in Elk Grove Village, which Thrasher attended, told ABC 7 Chicago that her church family will miss her dearly.
"Almost anything we did, she was volunteering for," Gates said. "You know, (she) loved being here. The church was really like her family".
Thrasher had been expected to sing in the choir on Easter, and it was out of character for her not to show up for the morning service, Gates told ABC 7.
"That's when some people were wondering where she was at," Gates said.
He also told ABC 7 that Thrasher's extended family lives in other parts of the United States, including Texas, making him uncertain where her funeral would be held.
Schaumburg's detective division is working with the Major Case Assistance Team on the investigation, and officers are speaking with residents in the area. Anyone with information related to the crime is asked to call Schaumburg detectives at (847) 882-3534 or the anonymous tip line at (847) 348-7055.