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Teen found dead in Gary alley was reported missing by Chicago shelter

Takaylah Tribitt, 14, of Chicago, was found dead by utility workers Sept. 16 in an alley near East 20th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street in Gary.

GARY — A 14-year-old girl was reported missing by a representative from a Chicago shelter about two weeks before she was found shot to death in a city alley Sept. 16, police said.

Takaylah Tribitt, of Chicago, was recently identified as the Jane Doe found dead by utility workers Sept. 16 in an alley near East 20th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street in Gary.

She died from a gunshot wound, according to the Lake County coroner's office.

Investigators with the Lake County/Gary Metro Homicide Unit, the Lake County coroner's office, the Gary Police Department's Juvenile Division, the FBI and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children began combing missing persons reports after her body was found in an effort to identify her.

Authorities also released a photo of a T-shirt she was wearing, which featured a Superman symbol with the words "Supergirl power."

The coroner's office gathered DNA samples from Tribitt's family in September, after a composite sketch of Tribitt was released and several potential family members came forward.

It was unclear why Tribitt was reported missing by a shelter representative.

She was not believed to a be a ward of the state when she was reported missing Sept. 1, according to Chicago police.

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The Lake County coroner's office was unable to use the dental records to confirm her identity because of how young she was when the records were collected.

Tribitt's homicide remains under investigation, Gary police Cmdr. Jack Hamady said.

Detectives are seeking tips from anyone with knowledge of Tribitt's whereabouts between Sept. 1 and 16, including her friends and family or those who may have seen her in Gary.

Tribitt may have had ties to a man in Gary's Midtown section, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective William Poe at 219-755-3852. To remain anonymous, call 866-CRIME-GP.

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