UPDATED October 23, 2010 – 2:15 p.m.
CHICAGO (STMW) — When Chicago Police detectives inspected the body of a 17-year-old woman found dead in a cardboard box in 2007, they noticed something strange.
Scrawled with a marker on the strangled woman’s left leg was a name.
On Friday, detectives obtained an arrest warrant and took William McIntosh, 46, into custody.
His mother’s name?
Even with that connection, Detectives Michael Landando and Jim Balodimas told the Sun-Times the key evidence in the case was a piece of denim cloth that bound the legs of the victim, Marlaina “Niki” Reed, a ward of the state and a runaway.
Earlier this year, detectives submitted the cloth to the Illinois State Police for testing. The test indicated McIntosh’s DNA was on the cloth, Landando said.
Police went to McIntosh’s apartment in the 5800 block of West Fullerton about 7 p.m. Friday. The television was on, but the man wasn’t home. Police found him nearby walking along the sidewalk. He was arrested without incident.
“I’m not a murderer,” he told detectives outside his home. “I would never kill anybody. I never hurt anybody.”
Prosecutors approved a murder charge against McIntosh about 9 p.m.Friday, after he asked for a lawyer and detectives were required to stop questioning him.
On Saturday, Cook County Criminal Court Judge Panarese ordered McIntosh held without bond, according to a court clerk. He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing Monday, according to the clerk.
“It’s been a long journey,” Landando said. “She really didn’t have anyone looking out for her. Her life was tragic, and she died tragically. The detectives were the only ones really concerned about finding out who killed her. I consider myself jaded in a lot of ways, but this one really bothered me.”
Police said Reed met McIntosh in October 2006. He opened a DirecTV account with her Social Security number in December 2006.
Her body was discovered on Jan. 21, 2007, in an alley in the 1600 block of North Francisco in Humboldt Park on the Northwest Side. The body was wrapped in a shower curtain and stuffed into a Casio keyboard box.
Eight days after Reed’s body was found, McIntosh, a musician, pawned a Casio electronic keyboard, Landando said.
At the time, the case was a real-life “CSI” whodunit. When Reed’s body was found, police could not identify her.
To reconstruct her decomposed face, police hired a forensic artist, Karen Taylor. Detectives placed a sketch of the reconstruction in Illinois Dental News, and a dentist said the woman was one of his patients — Reed.
The detectives learned Reed was a Danville native. She was a ward of the state and had run away from a group home in Chicago.
Police questioned McIntosh in 2009 after he was arrested for stabbing a female pit bull in a bathtub in his Northwest Side home. At the time, he denied involvement in Reed’s murder, police said.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)