20-year-old nursing student strangled by man she met online: prosecutors – NBC Chicago
A 20-year-old nursing student found dead last month on the West Side was killed by a man she recently met online, Cook County prosecutors say.
Richard Chavez, 24, faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Charisma Ehresman.
On Jan. 23, prosecutors said Ehresman went to Chavez’s home in Oak Park, where a private surveillance camera recorded Chavez walking down the sidewalk around 10:40 p.m. and entering with Ehresman.
She was not seen leaving the house, prosecutors said.
The next morning, Chavez drove Ehresman’s car to the 5900 block of West Iowa Street and got out alone, prosecutors said. He then reportedly walked around for about an hour before calling his brother to pick him up from less than a mile away.
Ehresman was reported missing by her family on January 25. His father told the Sun-Times it was unusual for her daughter not to let her family know where she was.
Police found Ehresman’s body three days later in the back seat of his car with a jacket covering his face, prosecutors said. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office determined she died of strangulation and suffocation and ruled her death a homicide.
Prosecutors said cellphone records showed Ehresman’s last call was to a number registered with Chavez and his phone location records indicated he “ringed” at his address on January 23.
Detectives spoke to Chavez at his home the day she was reported missing and he was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant in an ongoing DUI case in North Riverside, records show. judicial.
Chavez told detectives the two “met” and when he woke up the next morning, Ehresman was already gone, prosecutors said.
While in police custody, Chavez made a phone call to his parents which was recorded asking them to prepare his passport, prosecutors said.
Ehresman’s parents said they were left in the dark for much of the investigation, often learning updates through news reports.
Her father said there is evidence to dispute all of Chavez’s claims and that his daughter was not one to go meet someone unknown to “hook up”.
“She knows better than that; it’s not Charisma,” her father, Jeffery Ehresman, said. “She would never have met someone on her own”
Her parents think someone their daughter knew must have told her that this “mean” man was trustworthy.
“She had goals, she had just started college,” her mother, Christina Ehresman, said. “It all started for her.”
Investigators searched Chavez’s home on Jan. 31 and found a partially packed suitcase in his bedroom and a mask he was seen wearing in surveillance footage after he abandoned Ehresman’s car, prosecutors said.
Judge Susana Ortiz ordered Chavez’s detention without bail.
A private defense attorney for Chavez could not be reached on Saturday.
Court records show Chavez pleaded guilty in 2016 to one count of misdemeanor resisting or obstructing police and he was sentenced to one year of judicial supervision. Prosecutors dropped the charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor with his plea. Details of the case were not immediately available.
Ehresman has worked two jobs and had recently enrolled at Triton College in River Grove to become a nurse, her family had previously said.
“All she ever wanted to do was help people,” her father said.