Murder charges filed in death of man found in burning Jeep in Mount Prospect

SHARE Murder charges filed in death of man found in burning Jeep in Mount Prospect

Paul A. Zalewski | Mount Prospect police

A 21-year-old Mount Prospect man is facing charges that he killed and tried to conceal the death of a man found inside a burning vehicle last week in the northwest suburban village.

Paul A. Zalewski was charged with felony counts of first-degree murder and concealment of a homicidal death in the case, according to a statement released Thursday by Mount Prospect police.

Vladimir Esquivel, 29, of Arlington Heights, was found shortly after midnight Feb. 16 inside a Jeep Wrangler that was engulfed in flames in the 1700 block of West Algonquin Road, authorities said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office later determined Esquivel was shot multiple times and his death was ruled a homicide.

Victim Vladimir Esquivel | Mount Prospect police

Victim Vladimir Esquivel | Mount Prospect police

Zalewski was taken into custody Tuesday in Mount Prospect on previous drug charges and investigators searched his home and vehicle, police said. A search warrant was also executed in the 1600 block of Addison Court in Mount Prospect, where investigators believe Esquivel was killed.

“Cases such as these where the location of the murder and where the body’s locationdiffers and where steps are taken to destroy evidence through means of fire areextremely difficult to solve,” said Police Chief John Koziol.

Koziol praised the “tireless work” of the detectives and officers involved in the case.

Zalewski was taken to the Cook County Courthouse in Rolling Meadows, where he was expected to appear in bond court Thursday afternoon.

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