CHICAGO (CBS) — A 29-year-old migrant construction worker has been arrested in Florida for the rape and strangling death of a 33-year-old woman in her apartment in Schaumburg.
Bulmaro Mejia-Maya has been charged with first-degree murder, home invasion, and aggravated criminal sexual assault in the death of Tiffany Thrasher, Schaumburg Police Detective Cmdr. Kurt Metzger said Thursday.
Thrasher was found dead in her apartment at 2605 Clipper Drive on Easter Sunday. Police had visited the home after her friends requested a well-being check when she did not show up for church services.
Metzger said Mejia-Maya lived in a neighboring building in the same apartment complex, and had been living there for at least six months. Investigators do not know if they knew each other, but said it’s possible they had crossed paths before. One neighbor says Mejia-Maya and his friends would frequently sit on a balcony that had a direct line of sight to Thrasher’s apartment unit.
In a Facebook post, Thrasher’s sister, Misty King, called her “a loving, happy young lady,” and said her death was a “devastating loss.”
“She found her one true love in Jesus, she loved her church, her family, her canine children and her Chicago Cubs,” King said.
Investigators tied Mejia-Maya to the murder based on interviews and physical evidence. They learned he might have fled to Florida after killing Thrasher. U.S. marshals arrested him Wednesday night in Jacksonville.
Schaumburg detectives have questioned Mejia-Maya, who allegedly made “incriminating statements” after his arrest, according to Metzger.
Metzger said police believe the rape and murder was random.
“Right now we don’t have anything to believe that it was anything other,” he said.
Police earlier said investigators believe Thrasher’s killer got in through an unlocked window.
An extradition hearing has been scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Metzger said investigators are reviewing more than 200 pieces of physical evidence, possibly including DNA.