DALLAS -- A Dallas woman's trip to Chicago took a tragic turn this week.
Keisha Garnett was walking with friend when she slipped, fell into the Chicago River and drowned. Now her family is trying desperately to bring her back home.
In a photo pulled from the 30-year-old’s Facebook page, she can be seen clutching her car keys with a smile. Her brother, Jeremy Garnett, said his sister loved to go places.
“She was always on the go. She was always happy,” he said. “There was never a dull moment in her life.”
Jeremy was not at all surprised that after visiting New York, Keisha and her co-workers decided to stop in Chicago. Wanting to explore the city outside her hotel, they took a walk along the icy Chicago River early Tuesday morning.
One slippery step would be Keisha's last. She fell into the frigid water.
“My sister is a fish, but that water is probably like 30-below-zero,” Jeremy Garnett said. “You can’t swim in the water like that.”
A friend flagged down help. A woman who stopped was interviewed by WLS, the ABC affiliate in Chicago.
"I was driving just down the street,” Hailey Barham said, “and the girl was hysterical outside, so we called police."
Keisha was pulled from the water 15 minutes later.
Chicago authorities said she was the second person within the past week to fall into the river. On Friday, a 31-year-old man survived by holding onto a ladder until he was rescued.
Garnett died at the hospital, leaving her Dallas family grief stricken.
“She was like my best friend, you know?" Jeremy Garnett said. "She was my little sister, but she was my best friend.”
It also left the family in a desperate financial bind a week before Christmas. Jeremy said it will cost at least $2,000 to get Keisha's body back to Dallas. That doesn't include funeral expenses.
The family has set up a page for donations, which you can find here.
A graduate of Hillcrest High School, Keisha was the only girl in a family of boys. Jeremy said their mother is devastated.
“God knows best,” he said. “Although it’s not fair, but I guess he needed her more than we do.”
He said what his family needs most now is the means for Keisha to make one final trip back home to Dallas, where she can be laid to rest.