E-mailed photo helps Chicago cop catch murder suspect

By Annie Sweeney
The Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO Chicago Police stopped a murder suspect from leaving the country Monday by e-mailing his photo to the cell phone of a detective who was then able to stop him as he waited to board a flight at O'Hare, police said.

Grand Central Area detectives at the home where Deena David, a Chicago mother, was found strangled called in the suspect's name to a new computer center at police headquarters at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Within a couple of hours, they found out the man had bought a one-way ticket to Mexico for a 2:30 a.m. Monday flight. A photo of the man was e-mailed to one of the detective's phones.

Detectives then went to O'Hare and used the cell phone picture to find the man whose name was withheld pending charges as he sat in the boarding area, said Dept. Chief Michael Chasen.

The man was a former boyfriend of David's mother, who died eight years ago, police said. Detectives were still trying to determine what ties the two had and whether that was a factor in what unfolded.

David, 34, was found by relatives in a closet in the suspect's home in the 3600 block of West Belmont. She was in a plastic bag and had been strangled, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Police suspect she was killed on either July 18 or 19. Her stepsister reported her missing on July 21.

Police first visited the home about 3 p.m. Sunday but were not allowed access by the building owner, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. Family members returned that night and broke down the door, finding David.

Detectives called the suspect's name into the Crime Prevention Intervention Center, opened at police headquarters just months ago.

A check of a database led to information about the ticket purchase and the photo.

The suspect was being questioned Monday at the Grand Central Area.

David's family have established the David Children Memorial Fund at Charter One Bank, 2811 N. Narragansett Ave., Chicago, 60634.

Copyright 2007 Chicago Sun-Times

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