KEY POINTS

  • The woman's body was discovered in the trunk of her white 2011 Lexus sedan that had also been missing
  • The car was found on Chicago's West Side by private investigators hired by the woman's family
  • She was reported missing on Dec. 30 after failing to return home from the gym and was considered to be in danger due to a reported medical condition

The body of a missing Chicago woman was discovered in the trunk of her Lexus sedan Tuesday after a search by private investigators.

Sureel Dabawala, 34, was reported missing on Dec. 30 after she failed to return to her family home in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois. She had reportedly gone out to a nearby gym when she disappeared with no evidence as to where she could have gone or been taken.

She was also considered to be in danger due to a medical condition, though police didn’t reveal her condition.

Private investigators paid by the family located Dabawala's white 2011 Lexus sedan around 8:30 a.m. Monday. They contacted Dabawala’s father, asking him to bring keys for the car, and Chicago police to turn the car over. Her body was discovered wrapped in a blanket in the car’s trunk and she was pronounced dead.

An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday.

“This is someone who had her MBA from Loyola,” Dabawala’s sister, Isheeta Dabawala, told reporters in a phone interview. “I feel like it’s important for people to know that something like this could happen to anybody, not just people living in a dangerous neighborhood or anything like that. It could happen to anyone’s sister, mom, kid. She was a very smart girl, a very lively person. It’s just devastating.”

Chicago police spokeswoman Kellie Bartoli said there is wasn’t clear how long the car had been parked where it was found. There had been no traffic violations listed for the car since Dabawala's disappearance. It was towed and taken into police custody for further processing.

Bartoli did not comment about any signs of foul play or the injuries and would not address it again until Tuesday’s autopsy was completed.