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Man Held Without Bond In Strangling Of Elgin Resident

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John Poyer, 88, died from strangulation. (Elgin Police)

John Poyer, 88, died from strangulation. (Elgin Police)

(CBS) — Bail has been denied to an Elgin man accused of strangling an elderly downstairs neighbor during a robbery last week.

Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Coehlo said Thursday that the suspect, 55-year-old Matthew Stoecklein, told his story twice to a friend. The second time, Coehlo said, the friend wore a police wire.

Stoecklein allegedly said on the tape that he knocked on victim John Poyer’s door last Thursday night and identified himself to his downstairs neighbor, who let him in.

Once inside, Stoecklein told the friend, he demanded money. Poyer screamed and Stoecklein began to strangle the 88-year-old, but fit, Poyer. Prosecutors said Stroecklein told the friend the strangulation took 10 minutes — so long, that his hands began to tire.

Family members discovered Poyer’s body the next day, after he failed to answer several phone calls to his apartment, at 590 Hiawatha Drive.

The friend went to police and insisted that he be allowed to wear a wire and coax Stoecklein into making his confession a second time, Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda said.

Once police had the recording, they arrested Stoecklein Wednesday night. Charges were drawn up in less than six hours.

“He was so giving. He was a church man, a World War II veteran,” said Poyer’s granddaughter, Lonna Zwerenz, who cried as she remembered him. “He was just a great man, a great family man, and I miss him already.”

Coehlo said that the robbery netted $300.

Stoecklein next appears in court on Wednesday.

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