3 charged with murder after burning body found in West Chicago

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From left: Francisco Alvarado, Tia Brewer and Correa. | DuPage County State's Attorney's Office

WEST CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Three teenagers have been charged in the death of an 18-year-old man whose body was found burning Tuesday in west suburban West Chicago.

Francisco Alvarado, 18, of West Chicago and 16-year-old Tia Brewer of unincorporated Wheaton were both denied bail at a hearing Thursday at the DuPage County Courthouse, according to the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Alvarado and Brewer are each charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and concealment of a homicidal death, prosecutors said.

A third man, 18-year-old Jesus Jurado Correa of West Chicago, was charged with concealment of a homicidal death and was ordered held on $100,000 bail, prosecutors said.

About 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, members of the West Chicago Fire Department were conducting a training exercise when they came across the smoldering body of 18-year-old Luis Guerrero in the 1300 block of Joliet Street, prosecutors said.

Following an investigation by the DuPage County Major Crimes Task Force, authorities believe Alvarado and Brewer arranged to meet Guerrero on Tuesday in front of the West Chicago Public Library, prosecutors said. Alvarado approached Guerrero from behind and began choking him with a belt. At the same time, Alvarado and Brewer stabbed Guerrero multiple times in the neck.

They put Guerrero inside their Jeep Cherokee, called Correa and asked him to bring gasoline to the location where the body was found, prosecutors said. Correa brought the fuel and then left.  Alvarado and Brewer poured gasoline on Guerrero and lit him on fire.

While on fire, Guerrero got up and began to run away, prosecutors said. Alvarado and Brewer then ran him over with the Jeep. They brought his body back to a fire pit, lit him on fire again and put a picnic table over him.

“We are deeply grieved by the news of this heinous crime committed in our community,” West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda said in a statement Thursday. “We trust those responsible for this horrific disregard for the life of the victim will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and, while small comfort to those who have lost their loved one, justice will be served.”

Prosecutors did not provide a motive for the brutal killing on Thursday but said the armed robbery charges were connected with the pair allegedly stealing items from Guerrero, including his backpack.

All three defendants were taken into custody Wednesday, prosecutors said. Their next court date was scheduled for Sept. 13.