Eliza Wasni is a 16-year-old girl accused of killing an Uber driver with a machete. Prosecutors called the vicious stabbing attack “heinous and unprovoked” and so far authorities have not discussed a motive for the crime. The family of the machete stabbing victim, 34-year-old Grant Nelson, is speaking out, saying that their son was a “kind soul in a cruel world.”
The Uber stabbing took place on early Tuesday morning, shortly after Memorial Day had ended. A few minutes after one in the morning, Wasni took an Uber to the Des Plaines train station only to call a second Uber ride. Police say the teenage girl was caught on camera wandering around a Skokie, Illinois, Walmart going on a stealing spree. She stole a knife and a machete only to call a third Uber to pick her up from Walmart.
Grant Nelson’s mother, Tina Nelson, says her son spent his last evening talking and laughing with his family around the dinner table. Then he received the fateful Uber alert and left to pick up Wasni.
“That was the last time that we saw him,” said Tina. “He was doing everything he could to earn a living and this terrible, terrible thing happened to him. It’s beyond belief… beyond sad.”
Eliza Wasni’s Motive For The Uber Murder Is Unknown
Grant Nelson’s mother attended the hearing and family members said she was sobbing as the machete attack against the Uber driver was described.
“We had to sit there and we had to hear it. For him. Because somehow I had to let him know I know what happened to him and that I was so sorry I couldn’t be there to help him,” she said.
Cook County prosecutors say it’s possible Grant was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. After Wasni entered the back of the Uber vehicle, the 16-year-old girl tried to kill her Uber driver with the machete and knife by stabbing him repeatedly from behind.
Nelson fled the vehicle and sought help in a nearby building. A resident reported hearing a man screaming, “Help me! I’m going to die.” Police followed a blood trail to find the Illinois man and he was rushed to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston where he was pronounced dead. Before the Uber driver died, he was able to describe his machete-wielding attacker.
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) May 31, 2017
Meanwhile, Wasni stole the Uber vehicle and drove off only to hit a median. She fled the scene of this second incident on foot only to be found a short time later. Wasni was still holding the bloody knife and machete and was wearing a blood-stained Cubs shirt she’d been seen wearing in the Walmart surveillance video. The girl attempted to evade police and tried stripping down to her bra leggings. Police were eventually forced to use a Taser in order to stop her from fleeing.
The 16-year-old girl was charged as an adult with first-degree murder. After appearing in bond court, Wasni was denied bail. Cook County Judge Michael J. Hood called the Uber murder a “random act of violence” since Wasni and Nelson did not know each other before the machete attack. The girl is being held in a juvenile facility.
Uber Stabbing Victim Grant Nelson Remembered At Funeral
Funeral services were held Friday afternoon and a large crowd packed a Skokie chapel. Grant’s mother, brother Todd, sister Alex, and father Leonard all spoke. The father said that in the days since his son died, many people have shared with the family how their son had helped them.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Todd said his brother “never lifted his fist or his voice in anger” and called his brother “a kind soul in a cruel world…. I hope I can live by the example that (he) showed.” The father said his son would have never led a company or become a political leader but he was “good, kind, loyal, and that would have been enough.”
“Grant encapsulated what we seek in a lifelong friend. He was a kind, empathetic and extremely funny human being who could always be counted on to lift your spirits when life had you down,” said family friend Geoff Teal.
After attending the hearing for Eliza Wasni, Grant Nelson’s family issued a statement.
“To Uber, Lyft and taxicab drivers, who take us all where we need to go: We pray that you will remain safe and free from harm, and hope that if anything can be done to increase your safety, it will be done,” said the family.
Was she possessed? Eliza Wasni accused of murdering her Uber driver Grant Nelson https://t.co/umE8E6Xl2Q
— The Ghost Remover (@theghostremover) June 2, 2017
[Featured Image by Village Of Lincolnwood]