CHICAGO (CBS) — A 34-year-old man has been charged with murder and arson in the vicious slaying of Tyler Bernicky, the son of a Chicago firefighter, who was found dead next to his burning car in the Chatham neighborhood three months ago.
Bernicky was found stabbed to death near 79th and Ingleside on June 15, after police responded to calls for a car on fire.
Investigators said Bernicky was on the ground next to his burning car. He had been stabbed several times in the chest and legs, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“This is a vicious homicide,” community activist Andrew Holmes said at the time.
On Wednesday, Chicago police arrested 34-year-old Ronald Franklin, of the 1800 block of West Lake Street, after he was identified as Bernicky’s killer.
Franklin has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of arson. He was due to appear in bond court at noon on Friday.
Bernicky had no obvious ties to the area where he was killed, and it’s unclear why he was there at the time.
His father, Chicago Fire Department Lt. David Bernicky, said Tyler was visiting his grandmother’s house. He said working on cars was Tyler’s passion and he “put on a smile on everyone’s face.”
Adam, Tyler’s best friend, said the two had plans to open up their own custom car shop.
“Anything you needed he got it for you,” Adam said. “It doesn’t make sense.”