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Man arrested in murder of teen girl found dumped in Region alley
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Man arrested in murder of teen girl found dumped in Region alley

From the ICYMI: Here are the most-read stories from the past week series
Takaylah Tribitt

Takaylah Tribitt, 14, of Chicago, was found dead by utility workers Sept. 16, 2019, in an alley near East 20th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street in Gary. Anyone with information about her homicide is asked to call Detective William Poe, of the Lake County/Gary Metro Homicide Unit, at 219-755-3852. To remain anonymous, call 866-CRIME-GP.

CROWN POINT — A Chicago man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the homicide of a 14-year-old Chicago girl whose body was found dumped in an alley in Gary last year.

Deon Simmons, 35, was wanted in the murder of Takaylah Tribitt, who was reported missing in Chicago, said Nick Gonzalez, inspector for the U.S. Marshals Service Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Simmons was taken into custody without incident about 11:30 a.m. in the 6900 block of South Michigan Avenue, Gonzalez said. Chicago police assisted.

Detectives with the Lake County/Gary Metro Homicide Unit, including Sgt. William Poe and Cpl. Ed Gonzalez, did a lot of work with DNA and social media search warrants during the past year, Gary police Cmdr. Jack Hamady said.

"They got a lead and kept on that lead, and uncovered some great evidence," he said.

Simmons was expected to face extradition proceedings in Cook County before facing a Lake Criminal Court judge, Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez said.

"I would like to commend all of the officers involved in investigating this case and making an arrest," Martinez said. "I'm especially proud of how officers from several agencies shared information and resources to make progress in the case."

Tribitt was found dead by utility workers Sept. 16, 2019, in an alley near East 20th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street in Gary.

She died from a gunshot wound, but remained unidentified for months as the Lake County coroner's office awaited the results of DNA analysis.

Several family members came forward after a composite sketch of Tribitt and a photo of a T-shirt with the words "Supergirl power" were released.

Tribitt was reported missing by a representative from a Chicago shelter about two weeks before her body was found, Chicago police said.

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, 2019, according to Chicago police.

The Lake County coroner's office, the Gary Police Department's Juvenile Division, Chicago police and the FBI assisted in the investigation.

See an evening through the eyes of Schererville Police Patrolman Adam Biella. Video shot by Kale Wilk and produced by Nat Cardona. Interview by Mary Freda.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail

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