A teenage couple in Illinois has been accused of a brutal murder where they choked, stabbed, ran over and set another teen on fire, twice.
Francisco Alvarado, 18, from West Chicago, and Tia Brewer, 16, from Wheaton, were charged in the killing of 18-year-old Luis Guerrero, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Firefighters found Guerrero's still-burning body in a fire pit underneath a picnic table, not far from Alvarado's house, police said. A third teen, Jesus Jurado Correa, 18, was also charged. Police said he brought the gasoline that burnt the body.
“The vicious brutality allegedly displayed by the defendants in this case is beyond imagination,” State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said, according to the The Chicago Sun-Times. “I can’t begin to fathom the pain that Mr. Guerrero must have endured as his life was brutally taken from him.”
Brewer and the victim used to date, the Tribune reported, and Brewer told Guerrero that the victim raped her, Berlin said. No assault, however, was ever reported to authorities.
Alvarado and Brewer told Guerrero to meet them after midnight near the West Chicago Public Library — and when he arrived, Alvarado snuck up behind the victim and strangled him with a belt, then both attackers stabbed him multiple times in the neck, police said.
The teens then took Guerrero to a place nearby and asked Correa to bring some gasoline. He arrived to deliver the fuel and then left, police said.
When the teens poured the gasoline onto Guerrero and lit him aflame, he got up and started running around. The alleged killers then ran him over in a Jeep, authorities said. Police later found blood underneath the car.
The couple then brought the body to a fire pit and set him on fire again, then put a picnic table over him, authorities said.
Alvarado's parents called police when they found blood stains in the Jeep. Police tracked down Correa, who confessed that he brought gasoline to the couple and admitted that he drove the couple to the train station. Authorities caught up with the couple at a Chicago motel with some of the victim's belongings, as well as a screwdriver and a knife that may been used in the killing.
“The facts alleged in this case are brutal and heinous and evidence of an unconscionable degree of depravity,” Berlin said.
The couple was charged with with first-degree murder, armed robbery and concealment of a homicide. Correa was charged with concealment of a homicide. All three are due back in court on Sept. 13.
Alvarado and Brewer face life in prison if convicted.
“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, according to the Sun-Times. “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.”
[Photos: DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office]