An Illinois man strangled a woman to death and left her in the backseat of a car, police said.
Richard Chavez, 24, was charged with first-degree murder for allegedly strangling Charisma Ehresman, 20.
Ehresman, a nursing school student, was last seen leaving her Chicago home around 10:15 a.m. Jan. 23. Ehresman’s family reported her missing on Jan. 25.
Police reportedly found Ehresman’s body three days later in the back seat of her car with a jacket covering her face. The Cook County medical examiner’s office determined she died of strangulation and smothering. The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Police said phone records showed the last call Ehresman made was to a number registered to Chavez and her phone’s location records showed it pinged near his address on Jan. 23,
Chavez reportedly told investigators he and Ehresman met the night before she vanished. He claimed he woke up and she had left, according to media reports. Later that same day, he was spotted driving her car.
Investigators searched Chavez’s house on Jan. 31 and found a partially-packed suitcase in his bedroom and the mask he was reportedly seen wearing in surveillance footage after abandoning Ehresman’s car.
While in police custody, Chavez reportedly made a phone call to his parents that was recorded in which he asked them to get his passport ready, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
"There's no way a parent can explain this pain," her father, Jeff Ehresman, told ABC 7 News. "She was the most caring person, the most beautiful soul I have ever had the pleasure of knowing."
Chavez was charged with first-degree murder and was ordered held without bail.