A cancer patient seeking treatment hundreds of miles away from home was beaten to death outside of an Illinois treatment center, according to local authorities.
Shannon Vincel was attacked outside a Cancer Treatment Center of America’s hotel facility in Zion at 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 15. The Springfield, Missouri woman had traveled to Illinois to receive radiation treatment for breast cancer.
While she and another patient waited for a hospital shuttle to take them to the treatment center, an unidentified suspect approached and struck her in the head with an unknown object, police said.
Vincel, 46, sustained a severe head injury and passed away the following day at Condell Medical Center.
“She was just sitting there waiting for the shuttle to pick her up and take her to treatment. Why would anyone just walk up and beat a girl from behind, without warning and just beat her to death? Why?,” said Anita Adams, Shannon’s mother, reported by KSDK.
Describing her as “a gentle loving, sweet girl,” Shannon’s family said they are saddened about the circumstances surrounding her death.
“You never expect someone you know to be murdered, it’s outrageous,” Fabienne Vincel, Shannon’s sister, told KOLR10 News.
The Lake County Major Crime Task Force and the Zion Police Department are investigating the deadly incident.
The suspect was described as a black male wearing dark clothing.
The Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) pledged $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the murder.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the victim involved in the tragic incident outside of Guest Quarters West, one of our hotel accommodations located at 1911 27th Street, Zion, Illinois,” said CTCA spokeswoman Kristen Gerlach. “We continue to support the ongoing investigation of the Zion Police Department in support of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force.”
The funeral mass will be held at St. Clement of Rome Catholic Church on Aug. 23
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the distance Shannon Vincel had travelled to the Illinois treatment center.