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4th anniversary of Lane Bryant murders

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Thursday marks the four-year anniversary of a deadly shooting at a south suburban Lane Bryant store. The case remains unsolved.

Five women were shot to death during an attempted robbery at the Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park on February 2, 2008.

A store manager, an employee and three customers were shot to death. The gunman got away.

Relatives of the victims visited the site of the murders on Thursday. The store has been closed since the shootings.

Michele Talos' sister, Jennifer Bishop, of South Bend, Ind., was one of the victims.

"I still miss her like crazy," Talos said. "I guess I feel like this is where she is."

Maurice Hamilton's sister, Rhoda McFarland, was also killed. He said, "I just want to comfort them like they want to comfort me. We're like family now. It happened to our loved ones, so it brought us together."

McFarland, a store manager, made a 9-1-1 call for help from her cell phone and told dispatchers to "hurry" after a stocky man wearing a black winter coat and black jeans with rhinestones walked into the plus-sized clothing store and announced the robbery. He bound McFarland and five other women in the store with duct tape before shooting them. One of the women survived by playing dead after suffering a neck wound.

Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki calls the anniversary a triple tragedy- for the families, the community and for the loss of Police Chief Michael O'Connell, who died last May. His main mission had been to solve the murders, Zabrocki said.

"We haven't solved the case, and that weighs heavily on everyone's mind, especially our police chief Mike O'Connell was very concerned about this and on each of the three previous anniversaries he always said to me, Ed, we're going to get this guy," Zabrocki said.

Police say they have received more than 6,000 tips on the case, but no arrests have been made. Three full-time investigators remain on the case and have followed up on tips from Texas, North Carolina and even London.

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