Homicide victim’s family hoping for more leads after stolen car is found

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After a week of waiting, Lynn Hoff thought the drive back home to Chicago would be tough. She finally got a call from police early Friday morning. Her father’s 2009 Hyundai Sonata was found in a back alley in a neighborhood on the near north side.

“It feels like a really long nightmare that you’re going to eventually wake up from,” said Hoff. “I did tell my husband it’s going to be hard to leave knowing there’s so much that we don’t know.”

Last Friday, police say a man shot Hoff’s father, Thomas Tefft, in his home at 86th Street and Harcourt. The suspect then took off with Tefft’s car.

Officers have been searching for the vehicle for the past week. A neighbor said his roommate was biking around the back alley of their house and spotted the stolen car parked there since last Saturday. They called 911 after watching Tefft’s story on the news.

“We knew that the car was a key to the case that was going to offer clues to that person,” said Hoff. “The person who broke into my parents’ house and did this was there such a short time. They were longer in the car than they were in the house.”

Tefft’s car was towed to a secure site for forensic processing. Police said experts will be looking for any evidence left in the car that could lead them to the killer.

“Anything that can help us identify the suspect: hair, fingerprints, blood,” said Kendale Adams, an IMPD spokesman. “Until we’re able to get in there, get that evidence and identify someone, we won’t know where he is.”

As much as Lynn wants answers now, she’s confident they are close.

“Soon isn’t soon enough, you know?” she said. “What we really want is my father to still be here, but absent that, we want justice for him and closure.”

Police are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect. If you have any information regarding this case, call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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