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New questions arise from gruesome discovery tied to missing Tennessee mom

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DETROIT (WXYZ) — Questions linger in the case of a police chase turned homicide investigation. Sunday, Dearborn police found human remains in the trunk of a vehicle.

It’s a tragedy tied to a missing persons case out of Tennessee. Two people are dead and one person is in custody after a crash.

“We felt like the house shook because it was so loud,” resident Malaak Jadallah recalled.

The loud crash was followed by gunfire at the Detroit-Dearborn border on Normile Street near Tireman Avenue. Residents were surprised to learn how detailed the tragedy is.

“Somebody from another state, and they end up here?” a resident named Barbara questioned.

Authorities in Murfreesboro, Tennessee say the vehicle driven by an Ohio state trooper before the license plate was entered into the National Crime Information Center database. Murfreesboro police then contacted Michigan State Police for help after the car drove through Oakland County.

MSP said a license plate reader flagged a Dodge SRT, which was connected to an endangered missing persons case out of Tennessee.

Dearborn police tried approaching the vehicle, but it drove off. Ultimately, it crashed into a home on Normile Street.

Officers heard a gunshot and returned fire. State police say the driver, a 36-year-old woman, suffered a gunshot wound to the head. She died at the scene. Investigators haven’t said whether she shot herself.

Police have since identified her as Dominique Hardwick.

A 34-year-old female passenger was detained and taken to the hospital for injuries she suffered from the crash. Her name was not yet released.

Officers made a gruesome discovery in the trunk of human remains. They found the body of a 31-year-old woman.

“That’s very disturbing,” Barbara said. “On this block, it’s mostly seniors on this block… and, you know, to hear something like that, you’re almost scared to come out the door.”

On Monday, Michigan State Police confirmed the woman’s identity as Eleni Kassa. MSP says the Tennessee license plate is the same plate connected to her case.

The 31-year-old mother of one was last seen Nov. 17. Her family says she failed to pick up her daughter from school, which is unusual, and she wasn’t answering her phone.

Investigators said Hardwick was Kassa’s girlfriend. They got into an argument at Kassa’s apartment, and her cell phone and car were left there.

Murfreesboro police said they’ve conducted an extensive search for Kassa for more than a week, which included two separate K-9 searches. Several search warrants were issued including one for Hardwick’s Lebanon, Tennessee home.

“I really feel sad for the families,” Barbara said.

Jadallah said, “I feel like it shows you that it doesn’t matter where you’re located, there’s always something dangerous happening and it can spread anywhere.”

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