Illinois mother dies after she’s shot in head by stray bullet while reading Bible to infant daughter

Source: Unsplash; GoFundMe

Oct. 23 2021, Published 12:04 p.m. ET

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An Illinois mother getting her 7-month-old daughter ready for bed by reading her the Bible was shot when a stray bullet struck her in the head.

On Oct. 17, police in Zion responded to reports of shots fired and learned on the scene Melanie Hope Yates, 23, was hit while inside her home. Yates was rushed to the hospital, where she passed away from her injuries the following morning at 10 a.m., the Lake & McHenry County Scanner reported.

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"For my daughter to be shot in the head, she’s reading the Bible to her youngest 7-month-old daughter, getting ready for bed, it’s unreal," Lam Calderon, the victim’s mother, told Chicago station WFLD.

Authorities recovered shell casings near the victim’s home but have not identified any suspect in the case.

“You totally transformed the lives of my son-in-law and my granddaughters,” Calderon said of the unknown shooter. “They will never know their mother again. It’s heartbreaking because she wasn’t out and about, she was in her own home.”

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Yates is survived by her husband, Daniel, and their two young daughters.

On GoFundMe, Stephan Calderon wrote that his sister “loved Jesus Christ with every fiber of her being.”

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“There is no doubt whatsoever that she is in heaven at this very moment. But we on earth miss her very dearly,” he said, noting Yates had an infectious laugh, beautiful singing voice and feisty, witty humor. “We miss her dedication to being an amazing, godly mom and wife. We miss her. And we wish with every fiber of our being she was here, but we know she’s in a better place.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Zion Police Department at (847) 872-8000. Anonymous tips can be left with the Lake County CrimeStoppers at (847) 662-2222 or on the CrimeStoppers website.

"Solving this case won’t bring her back, but it will lead to closure for us that love Lanie," said Yate’s father, Shawn Calderon.


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