Funeral planned for cancer patient who was fatally beaten

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri woman who was beaten to death outside the Illinois hospital residence where she was being treated for breast cancer will be buried Tuesday.

Police said Shannon Vincel, of Springfield, Missouri, was hit over the head around 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 15 as she and another patient waited for a hospital shuttle outside the Cancer Treatment Centers of America facility in Zion, Illinois. The 46-year-old woman died the next day.

“Why would anyone just walk up and beat a girl from behind, without warning and just beat her to death?” said Anita Adam, Vincel’s mother.

Adam said her daughter flew back and forth between Springfield and the hospital, where she would live in its extended-stay housing.

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“Whenever she’d walk into the hospital she’d always say, ‘Oh, what a beautiful morning,'” Adam said. “So optimistic.”

Vincel had finished chemotherapy and was undergoing radiation.

“She certainly was looking forward to being Shannon again,” Adam said. “She’d lost all her hair, but she dealt with it so well. She just accepted it: ‘This is what I’ve been dealt, I’m going to take care of it and get better.'”

The Zion Police Department and the Lake County Major Crime Task Force are investigating the attack, but no arrests have been made. Cancer Treatment Centers of America is offering a $25,000 reward for information in her death.

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“He was just pure evil,” Adam said. “So it would be wonderful to get this — I can’t even call him a person. I don’t know what I can call him. If that thing were off the streets. Because no one is safe with people like that out walking around.”

A visitation and funeral will take place Tuesday at St. Clement of Rome Catholic Church in Des Peres, Missouri. Vincel will be buried at Resurrection Cemetery in St. Louis on Tuesday afternoon.