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Crime & Courts

West Chicago murder victim was stabbed, set on fire, run over; 3 teens charged

WEST CHICAGO – A West Chicago teen allegedly was strangled, stabbed, set on fire and run over by two other teens in a brutal murder Aug. 14 in West Chicago, according to the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.

Bond has been denied for Francisco Alvarado, 18, of West Chicago, and Tia Brewer, 16, of an unincorporated area near Wheaton, who are charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and concealment of a homicidal death in the murder of Luis Guerrero, 18, of West Chicago, a State's Attorney's Office news release stated.

Bond also has been set at $100,000 with 10 percent to apply for Jesus Jurado Correa, 18, of West Chicago, who has been charged with concealment of a homicidal death in the murder, according to the release.

At about 11:30 a.m. Aug. 14, while conducting a nearby training exercise, West Chicago Fire Department personnel observed a smoldering object at 1325 Joliet St. and discovered it was a human body, the release stated.

Fire personnel immediately contacted the West Chicago Police Department, who began an investigation into the matter with the assistance of the Major Crimes Task Force. The investigation led authorities to Alvarado, Brewer and Correa, who were taken into custody the following day, according to the release.

It is alleged that at some point in time Aug. 14, Alvarado and Brewer arranged to meet Guerrero near the West Chicago Public Library. When they met, Alvarado allegedly approached Guerrero from behind and strangled him with a belt around his neck, the release stated. It is alleged Alvarado and Brewer then stabbed Guerrero multiple times in the neck, according to the release. The pair then allegedly put Guerrero in their Jeep Cherokee, traveled to the location on Joliet Street and removed Guerrero from the Jeep.

The pair allegedly had contacted Correa and asked him to bring gasoline to the Joliet Street location. It is alleged Correa arrived at the site, gave the gasoline to Alvarado and Brewer and left, the release stated.

Alvarado and Brewer then allegedly poured the gasoline on Guerrero and lit him on fire, according to the release. While he was on fire, Guerrero got up and began to run away, but Alvarado and Brewer allegedly ran him over with their Jeep, dragged him back to a fire pit at the location, relit him and placed a picnic table over him, the release stated.

“I would first and foremost like to thank the West Chicago Police Department and the Major Crimes Task Force for their truly outstanding work in identifying and apprehending the suspects in this case," DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the release. "The vicious brutality allegedly displayed by the defendants in this case is beyond imagination. I can’t begin to fathom the pain that Mr. Guerrero must have endured as his life was brutally taken from him. I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to Mr. Guerrero’s surviving family and friends on the loss of Mr. Guerrero."

The three suspects appeared at a bond hearing Aug. 16 in front of Judge George Bakalis. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 13 for arraignment in front of Bakalis.    

"I am extremely proud of the work exhibited by the West Chicago police officers assigned to this case as well as the Major Crimes Task Force," West Chicago Police Chief Michael Uplegger said in the release. “To go from having nothing on a gruesome murder to charges filed against suspects in the case within a twenty-four-hour period is proof of just how committed we all are in DuPage County to justice and protection of the public.”       

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