Alexandra Anaya, who was known to relatives as “Alex,” was 13 years old when she died. Her torso was found floating in a river in Chicago, Illinois, and the circumstances surrounding her death are still unknown.
On Aug. 13, 2005, Sandra Anaya returned to her home in the 4000 block of Pine Avenue in Hammond, Indiana, and noticed the front door was ajar.
When she went to her daughter Alexandra’s room, she wasn’t there.
Sandra went to another bedroom where her two other daughters were sleeping, and Alexandra, a student at Clark Middle/High School, wasn’t there either, according to the NW Times.
She told reporters that she went outside to check if Alexandra had gone to the corner store or to a friend’s house, but she wasn’t at either of those places.
That’s when Sandra contacted the police and reported Alexandra missing.
Three days later, on August 16, 2005, Sandra received a call from the police department. They told her that boaters had found a body floating in the Little Calumet River in Chicago, Illinois, and that there was a possibility it could be her daughter.
She went to the Chicago police station and tried to help identify her daughter. She reportedly told officers that Alexandra had a scar on her chin and a sprained ankle, not knowing that the body was missing its arms, legs, and head.
The torso was identified as Alexandra three weeks after her mother provided a sample of her DNA.
When Sandra learned that it was her daughter’s torso that was found in the Little Calumet River, retired Hammond police Lt. Ron Johnson said, “She just fell apart.”
He added that she “went down to her knees and crawled on the floor, crying and screaming; she just lost it.”
Since the rest of Alexandra’s remains were never found, the medical examiner could only determine during her autopsy that she had undigested French fries in her stomach.
The last time her family saw Alexandra alive, she had eaten a meal at White Castle.
The cause of death remains unknown.
During a press conference in Chicago, FBI Chicago Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson stated that “it was not a random act of violence” and that Alexandra Anaya knew her killer.
“It has been more than a decade since Alex was murdered, and during that time people and relationships have changed. We are hopeful that someone will come forward now.”
According to Fox 59, the Homicide Initiative Task Force is working with the FBI and Chicago police on reviewing the case and providing additional resources, which include “enhanced DNA testing, telephone record analysis, surveillance, and FBI profilers.”
Special Agent Courtney Corbett said, “We want to bring justice to Alex and other victims like her and their families. To do that—and to ultimately reduce the homicide rate in Chicago—we all have to work together.”
Anyone with information regarding the unsolved death of Alexandra Anaya is encouraged to contact the FBI’s Chicago Field Office at (312) 421-6700 or submit a tip online.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.