A 36-year-old Raymond Harris killed and then stole a woman’s wedding rings, prosecutors said, and used them to propose to his girlfriend.
Harris is accused of killing 73-year-old Virginia Perillo last month in her garage. He was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery.
Police say Perillo was brutally beaten — her face smashed.
Prosecutors say DNA evidence found in Perillo’s car matched Harris’ DNA.
Harris also left behind his watch after a struggle with Perillo. Harris then stole her wedding and engagement rings and took them to a party later that night. He then used them to propose to his girlfriend.
Harris was already on parole after serving roughly half of a 30-year sentence for attempted murder and aggravated arson in 1997. Prosecutors said he broke into a woman’s home, beat and raped her over a period of hours, and set her house on fire. The victim was able to escape.
Perillo’s family says the arrest brings some relief and closure. They said in a statement they have worked with Chicago Police and feel fortunate that “various pieces of evidence” were found pointing to Harris.
“It has been a stressful and busy time for us knowing that the person that murdered my mom was still out there,” Perillo’s family said in a statement. “We’re just relieved knowing that there is one less criminal on the street. We can begin the healing process and put some closure to this and hopefully find the answers as to why.”
Perillo spent more than 40 years as a registered nurse at Rush University Medical Center.