Around 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Brittany Battaglia told her roommate she was going to see her boyfriend, 34-year-old Genesis Silva, at his apartment, which is roughly a block away, and then go to a party, according to prosecutors.
Over the next two days, Brittany's roommate repeatedly tried to make contact with her but was unsuccessful. She alerted Brittany's brother who found out she never made it to the party and had stopped sharing her location with her family the day before she went missing.
Both her roommate and brother contacted Chicago police to file missing persons reports.
Chicago police went to Silva's apartment on Sunday and saw him leave the building and get into his car. They pulled him over a few blocks away and escorted him back to his apartment.
Once inside, Silva put his red and black backpack down and detectives found a large duffle bag in his bedroom. Detectives ordered Silva to stay outside as they secured a crime scene inside.
Silva was seen trying to sneak back into his apartment via a rear interior stairwell and he was taken into custody, according to the bond proffer.
Police recovered two cellphones, two smaller pocketknives and an ice pick off his person.
Detectives got a search warrant for Silva's apartment and found Brittany's body inside the large duffle bag. Her head was almost completely cut off and the Cook County medical examiner determined she died from multiple sharp force wounds. Her death was ruled a homicide.
Also in the home, police found a tarp in the kitchen with two garbage bags on it. Inside the bags were shoes, a bucket, paint suit, black gloves, Clorox and a Swifter, prosecutors said. Blood was not visible on the items but BlueStar technology indicated the presence of blood on several of them.
There were three crumbled pieces of paper with lists that included cleaning supplies and chemicals, paint suits and boots. Written on one piece of paper was "Can you ask avg. time until smell etc."
A machete was found in the red and black backpack Silva had earlier that day and a second machete was recovered from Silva's car, prosecutors said.
DNA testing is underway on both machetes and other items in the home.
Silva was charged with one felony count of concealing the death and one misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer, according to Chicago police.
Her brother, AJ Battaglia, said he believes Silva remains the prime suspect in the killing. He said investigators have told the family they "are thoroughly investigating and trying to do everything by the book" to bring first-degree murder charges in the case.
He said the last week "has been a disaster" for the family. They have been going back and forth between Galena and Chicago to attend to his sister’s affairs, and he was even questioned by the state’s attorney’s office in connection with the investigation.
Battaglia remembered his sister as a free spirit who "always lived life to the fullest." She worked as a cosmetologist and esthetician but was also an artist, the family has said.
"She didn’t care about what people thought about her, she didn’t care about the stigma of certain things," he said. "She lived life how she wanted to live it and she was happy."
Silva has been a registered sex offender since he pleaded guilty to a felony count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in 2009, according to the Illinois State Police and the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. He was sentenced to two years of probation.
The victim, Diana Ochoa, was his wife at the time, Cook County court records show.
In a deposition in subsequent divorce proceedings, Ochoa told a judge that Silva initially punched her in the chest and held her down with his knees. The violence continued the following day, when Ochoa said he threw her onto a bed, bit and choked her and then threatened her with a knife and sexually assaulted her.
In an interview, Ochoa insisted that prosecutors just "wanted to settle" the case, noting that having him placed on the sex offender registry was "the bare minimum" she asked for. She complained he wasn’t incarcerated after initially facing 13 charges, all of which were Class X felonies, the most serious offenses in the state.
When she was told Silva was a suspect in Battaglia’s killing, Ochoa said she hoped he would "have to go away for hopefully the rest of his life."
"I’m also really sad that this even had to happen in the first place," she said. "In my opinion, he should’ve gone away to prison when he tried to kill me."
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.