JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - U.S. Marshals on Wednesday evening in Jacksonville arrested a 29-year-old man in connection with the rape and strangulation of a woman outside Chicago.
Bulmaro Mejia-Maya is charged with first-degree murder, home invasion and sexual assault.
According to the U.S. Marshals Service, he was neighbors with Tiffany Thrasher, 33, and broke into her apartment in Schaumburg, Illinois, over the Easter weekend.
Handcuffed and shackled, Mejia-Maya appeared before a judge at the Duval County Jail Thursday afternoon on a fugitive warrant from the suburb of Chicago.
When they interviewed him, detectives said, he made incriminating statements about brutal killing -- where he attacked and strangled a young woman in her apartment.
At Thursday's court hearing, Mejia-Maya was wearing headphones, because he speaks Spanish and needed a translator. He agreed to be extradited back to Illinois to face the charges there.
Schaumburg police said they found evidence at the scene linking Mejia-Maya to Thrasher's death. Detectives then learned he had ties to Florida, and they tipped off U.S. Marshals that he might be in the Jacksonville area.
"Tiffany was a loving, happy young lady whom had overcome so much in her life. She found her one true love in Jesus. She loved her church, her family, her canine children and her Chicago Cubs," Thrasher's sister, Misty King, wrote online.
People who live in the Schaumburg area said they're glad someone's in custody for such a heinous and hateful crime. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Thrasher's family with funeral expenses.
There's no word yet on when Mejia-Maya will be transferred back to Illinois, but it's expected to happen in the next few days.
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