Missing woman from Murfreesboro found dead in Detroit suburb

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 7:31 PM CST|Updated: 22 hours ago
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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WSMV) - The body of a woman who has been missing from Murfreesboro since Nov. 17 has been discovered in the trunk of a car following a pursuit in Dearborn, Michigan.

According to Michigan State Police, a Dodge Charger matching the description of the vehicle 31-year-old Eleni Kassa was last seen traveling in was detected in Dearborn and a pursuit ensued.

The driver, 36-year-old Dominique Hardwick, eventually crashed the Charger into a residence and began firing shots toward officers as they approached, police said. Officers returned fire.

Hardwick was pronounced dead at the scene from, what would later be determined as, a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A 34-year-old female passenger in the vehicle was injured in the crash and transported to a local hospital.

A search of the Charger revealed the body of a woman inside the trunk. The body is confirmed to be that of Eleni Kassa, the missing woman from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. A 9mm Glock pistol was also recovered from the vehicle.

Kassa’s family said she was last seen by neighbors at the Arbor Brook Apartments in Murfreesboro. They said she left her keys, phone, and personal car at her apartment, which is unlike her.

Kassa’s family described her as a dedicated mom who works full-time and moved to Tennessee to live the American dream.

“She’s the center of our family,” her cousin Eden Mengistu said. “She’s the one who glues us together.”

Kassa’s family flew to Murfreesboro last week, worried when she didn’t pick up her 6-year-old daughter from school.

“Extremely unlike her. She is a very dedicated mother, very responsible person,” Mengistu said.

Her family had been speaking with police and looking through items at her apartment in an effort to find out what happened to her.

Murfreesboro Police reported that Kassa was traveling in a black Dodge Charger with a Tennessee license plate: 7L87V2. Police said the tag on the car was pinged last in Ohio by a license plate reader and her family believed she was forced to leave town by a friend.

The surviving passenger of the incident has only been identified by her age so far. Michigan State Police say they don’t know her role in the incident yet.

“If she turns out to be a victim/witness, we won’t identify her,” police said. “If she is charged with a crime, we will identify her after her arraignment.”

Murfreesboro Police are looking for a missing mother after she didn’t pick up her daughter from school Thursday afternoon.