Autopsy results for woman found in North Side freezer are still pending: medical examiner

Francis Walker and her home in the 5900 block of North Washtenaw. |; Google

The Cook County medical examiner’s autopsy of the remains found in a North Side boarding house’s freezer this week did not yield an immediate cause or manner of death, according to records released by the office on Wednesday afternoon. But officials publicly identified the woman for the first time as 59-year-old Francis Walker.

No criminal charges have been announced in the case as of Wednesday afternoon.

Chicago police this week said the woman, now identified as Walker, rented rooms in her home to others. One of those residents called 911 on Monday evening after the woman went missing from her residence in the 5900 block of North Washtenaw.

Police initially filed a missing person report, but they returned to the house shortly after another 911 caller reported seeing blood inside the house.

During the second visit, police learned that some residents had grown afraid of a person living in the home, Deenihan said. That person, who is also a woman, had called a tow truck to remove her vehicle from the area and was also seen carrying a heavy bag to the tow truck.

Before the tow truck driver left, a quick-thinking resident exchanged phone numbers with him and gave the number to the police. Cops contacted the driver and located him in West Ridge. The suspect was still with him.

Deenihan said the suspect had threatened the tow truck driver with a knife after he picked her up.

Meanwhile, police discovered that the suspicious woman had thrown a large plastic bag into a trash can near the lakefront in the 5100 block of North Simonds Drive. Officers found bloody towels and other items in the trash can, which was taken to the medical examiner’s office in its entirety, Deenihan said.

The medical examiner initially listed the Simonds Drive address as the location of Walker’s death. In a Tuesday afternoon update, the office said no human remains were found at that location.

Back at the home, however, police found body parts in a freezer, Deenihan said. The officers left the house and secured a search warrant.

Deenihan said the suspect refused to speak with police after they arrested her on a charge of aggravated assault for threatening the tow truck driver.

Editor’s note: While the medical examiner identified the deceased woman as Francis Walker with an age of 59, some media outlets are reporting that her first name was spelled Frances and she was 69-years-old.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is