A suspect is accused of killing an Illinois man during a dispute two years ago and then stuffing the victim's body into a refrigerator after cooling it in a tub with ice, authorities said.
At the time of Merge's death, investigators said he and 24-year-old Lee were in an on-off relationship with each other.
Surveillance video from June 28, 2020 — the day police believe Merge died — allegedly shows the two men arguing when they got on to an elevator in the victim’s building, Assistant State’s Attorney Franka D’Antignac said, according to CWB Chicago.
Inside Merge’s fifth-floor condo, Lee hit Merge and allegedly strangled him with his hands and an extension cord and smothered him with a pillow, D’Antignac claimed.
Lee bought six bags of ice and put them in a bathtub with Merge's body before taking out all the shelving from inside the victim’s refrigerator and stuffing the body inside, the assistant state’s attorney said.
On July 6, 2020, the building manager discovered the corpse in the refrigerator while doing a wellbeing check on Merge’s unit.
A medical examiner determined Merge's manner and cause of death to be homicide by strangulation.
Investigators allegedly found Lee’s fingerprints on the refrigerator shelves, which were stashed inside a closet in the apartment, and results from DNA found on the extension cord are pending, D’Antignac said.
At the time of the slaying, Lee was out on bail in connection to an attempted vehicular hijacking case.
Lee is currently being held without bail on the murder charge, according to CWB Chicago.
Merge’s loved ones describe him as a happy and friendly person who was beloved by those who knew him.
“He always made everybody feel very comfortable,” Sandra Holloway told the Chicago Tribune shorlty after Merge’s murder. “Marcus to me is nothing but kindness and welcoming, and I don’t know why anybody would want to do that to him.”