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Questions linger for friends of slain salon owner

Naomi Nix, Chicago Tribune –

Friends and family mourned after a 45-year-old mother and neighborhood beauty shop owner was killed early Sunday, apparently in her apartment building in Chicago’s Uptownneighborhood.

Yolanda Holmes, of the 1000 block of West Montrose Avenue, was shot shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday, police said. An autopsy Monday ruled that Holmes died of multiple stab wounds and a gunshot wound to her head, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Police were still investigating Holmes’ death Monday afternoon. No one has been charged in the death.

Holmes, mother of a 22-year-old son, was well known in Uptown as the owner of the Nappy Headzsalon for about 16 years, her family and colleagues said.

“We were her friends, her extended family,” said Avery Bey, a stylist who worked in the shop. “I’m just outdone … I’m gonna stay prayerful.”

Marcel Rey, a stylist who worked in the salon, said Holmes “was not only a shop owner, but a friend.”

Holmes often used her salon in the 4100 block of North Broadway, as a venue to publicize or host community events like back-to-school parties for young students, said Ayonna Anderson, one of Holmes’ stylists.

Holmes threw a birthday party for Anderson and Rey on Saturday at the salon, Anderson said.

Holmes was always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need, family and friends said.

“She had a real nice personality, always trying to help people,” her uncle James Newman said.

Holmes liked to travel and had “filled up her passport two or three times,” Anderson said. She also described her friend as a “health nut” who kept track of what she ate and liked to exercise.

She was “always trying to get rid of her stomach, and she was a size five,” Anderson said.

Yunae Holmes sobbed Sunday morning inside Nappy Headz as she dialed the numbers of family members to tell them her older sister had been killed. She first heard the news from detectives who came to her home early Sunday morning.

Dassin Wallace, who lives on the floor below Holmes, said she heard gun shots early Sunday morning and later found blood in a stairwell connected to the building’s lobby.

Friends and family at Holmes’ salon Sunday had lingering questions.

“I just don’t see who would do something to her,” Anderson said. “I just don’t understand.”

Across the street from Nappy Headz, Joseph Adibu, owner of Broadway Super Coin Laundry, was also shocked at the news of Holmes’ death.

Adibu said Holmes often used his laundromat to wash the beauty shop’s towels. The last time he saw her was on Saturday, when she brought a plate of food from the birthday party she hosted, Adibu said.

“She is a very good person. For that to happen to her is a blow to a lot of us,” he said. “It’s very painful.”

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