Friend mourns ‘second mother’ Cherie Adams killed in fire

Chicago Sun-Times

For days now, Rochelle Pinex’s 8-year-old daughter has been begging her for a weekend visit to see “Nana.”

Pinex doesn’t know what she’ll tell her daughter, after Nana — 42-year-old Cherie Adams and Adams ’ daughter — were found stabbed to death in a burning Chatham home Wednesday.

“I don’t know who in their right state of mind would want to do anything to them,” said a weeping Pinex, 28, who lives in Harvey.

Adams and her daughter, Curtria Duncan, 24, were stabbed before the fire in their home, in the 8100 block South Maryland, was intentionally set about 3:45 p.m., investigators said. Both women were found in a bathroom in the residence.

Adams was beaten and stabbed multiple times, according to a Thursday autopsy. Duncan died from “homicidal asphyxia” and multiple stab wounds.

Pinex said Adams , who dated Pinex’s father for 20 years, was like a second mother. Pinex said Adams helped raise her along with Pinex’s other siblings.

Pinex said she spoke regularly to Adams and can’t understand why anyone would want to hurt the very private woman and her daughter, who was a radiology student at Kennedy-King College. But Pinex also said Adams had recently expressed concerns about someone trying to break into her home.

“Last time I chit-chatted with her, she said someone was trying to come through her window at night,” Pinex said.

Pinex said she is grateful Duncan’s 3-year-old son was staying with his father and wasn’t at home Wednesday.

“I couldn’t imagine if the baby was in the house,” Pinex said.

The case remained under investigation Thursday morning, with no arrests.

— Contributing: James Scalzitti

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