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Chicago Mom Found Dead on Christmas Day After She Doesn't Show Up to Watch Her Kids Open Present

What some might call a crime of passion, others are calling a straight up calculated murder.

32-year-old Juanita Hankins and Jeffery Finley-Scott, 33, had been in a rocky relationship for a while. The pair often had very public blow-ups that were no secret to anyone around them. The most recent "fall out" came when Finley-Scott posted a video of Hankins performing a sexual act on Facebook without her permission. She filed a police report concerning the incident on December 16th.

Hankins was done with Finley-Scott after that. . . or so those around her thought.

Late Christmas Eve Finley-Scott checked into a hotel on the south side of Chicago. Juanita Hankins was with him.

The pair, and presumed former couple, were seen shortly after midnight Finley-Scott's live-stream on Christmas morning watching television and enjoying themselves. At one point Finley-Scott even hands Hankins a pill which she takes and swallows according to prosecutors. During the video there seems to be no animosity between the two and they seemed to have reconciled their differences. However, just three hours later, Hankins would be dead.

Around 3:15am things turned heated when Hankins confronted Finley-Scott about something she found on his phone, Assistant State’s Attorney Lindsay Ruedig told the court during Finley-Scott's initial court appearance over the weekend. Finley-Scott is accused of choking Hankins and slamming her down on the floor before dragging her to the bathroom, Ruedig said. There, he allegedly straddled the woman, who told him “I can’t breathe” before becoming unresponsive.

Motel surveillance captured Finley-Scott fleeing the motel in Hankins’ Dodge Journey, authorities said. A motel maid found Hankins’ body around 10:50 a.m. with bruises all over her body. Hankins, of the 4700 block of Lake Park Avenue, was later pronounced dead, and her cause of death was ruled a strangulation in a homicide.

According to the Chicago Suntimes:

Finley-Scott arrived at his cousin’s apartment about 5 a.m. but left after six minutes, prosecutors said.

A few hours later, he returned to his cousin’s, covered in blood from a hit-and-run crash in the 6700 block of South South Shore Drive, prosecutors said.

The cousin left him at home with her husband for about an hour, and when she returned, Finely-Scott was bleeding from his side because he had stabbed himself with a knife he found at the apartment, prosecutors said.The cousin called the paramedics, but Finely-Scott wouldn’t cooperate with first-responders, so police were called, prosecutors said. When Finely-Scott heard their sirens, he allegedly ran off from his cousin’s home.

Later that day, the cousin and her husband left their apartment and returned to find they couldn’t get back inside, prosecutors said. They found blood near the back door, so they called police.

Police arrived to find Finely-Scott barricaded inside the apartment and threatening to harm himself, and he was later taken into custody, prosecutors said."

Hankins family called police after she failed to show up on Christmas morning to watch her daughters, ages 4 and 6, open their presents. She had dropped them off with their grandmother the night before and promised to return in a "few hours".

Finley-Scott remains hospitalized, and could not attend the weekend court proceedings, due to self inflicted wounds. He is expected to recover and is facing a charge of first degree murder. He has been denied bail.


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