Chicago man accused of killing pregnant girlfriend, dumping her body in Lake Michigan

lake county
Source: Chicago police; Lake County Sheriff's Office

Nov. 8 2021, Published 9:33 a.m. ET

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A Chicago man is accused of stabbing a 19-year-old pregnant woman to death and dumping her body in Lake Michigan over the summer.

A fisherman first spotted the body of Yarianna Wheeler about three miles southeast of Waukegan Harbor on Aug. 15. Authorities said she was about six or seven months pregnant and was stabbed several times before being dumped in the water.

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After about three months of investigating, The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Chicago Police charged Robert Drummond, 21, with first-degree murder. Authorities said the two were involved in a relationship.

The first public reports of the "Lake Michigan Jane Doe" were made three days after she was found.

“It appears the woman is between the ages of 18-40. She is African American, approximately 5-feet-4-inches, and 150-170 pounds. Her fingernails and toenails were painted. She was wearing a summer dress. Based on preliminary information, it appears she was in the water for no more than two weeks,” The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement at the time.

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Lake County Coroner’s Office Forensic Odontologist compared the dental records collected by sheriff’s detectives to "Lake Michigan Jane Doe’s" teeth and jaw, and identified her as Wheeler, who was living in Chicago but originally from Bellwood, Illinois.

Lake County detectives went to Oakwood Beach, Illinois, where they reportedly recovered evidence, including some of Wheeler’s belongings. Investigators determined this location was likely a crime scene on Aug. 30.

They deemed Drummond a person of interest and partnered with Chicago Police in their investigation.

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Cell phone records reportedly showed that Wheeler was on the phone with Drummond when she was in a ride-sharing car and was allegedly recorded on “grainy” surveillance video walking toward the water side-by-side with an unidentifiable person, who authorities believe was Drummond, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

Authorities said the two moved out of the camera view before a person reappears alone about 40 minutes late, holding Wheeler’s large, square-shaped pink purse. Drummond allegedly used Wheeler’s credit card to buy $300 worth of Red Bull energy drinks after Wheeler had disappeared, according to court documents.

Drummond was arrested on Nov. 3 in an alley near his home, according to the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch. He was ordered held without bail.

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