Man charged with kidnapping, murdering homeless woman in November

Raul Silva is accused of attacking Darlene Solis on Nov. 28 in the 4000 block of West Grand Avenue in West Garfield Park, police said.

SHARE Man charged with kidnapping, murdering homeless woman in November
Cook County Criminal Courts, 2601 S. California Blvd.

The Leighton Criminal Courthouse at 2601 S. California Blvd.

Sun-Times file

A 23-year-old man is accused of killing a 63-year-old homeless woman he kidnapped last year and tried to sexually assault, Cook County prosecutors said Friday.

Raul Silva was recorded by multiple surveillance cameras about 8:45 p.m. Nov. 28 as he approached the nook of a building in the 4000 block of West Grand Avenue where Darlene Solis was sitting with her possessions, prosecutors said.

After pushing Solis to the sidewalk, Silva got on top of her and “simulated sexual intercourse” before dragging her into a van that was registered to his deceased father, prosecutors said.

Solis managed to escape as Silva was driving away, but Silva returned to the area where he first approached Solis and waited in his van, prosecutors said.

When Silva saw Solis walking on Grand Avenue some time later, he ran up behind her and slammed into her body “like a linebacker,” Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

The impact violently threw Solis to the sidewalk, which caused her to strike her head, and left a 2-inch-wide gash on her forehead that exposed her skull, prosecutors said.

A person who saw the attack called 911 and waited with Solis until an ambulance came and took her to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was diagnosed with bleeding around her brain, prosecutors said.

Solis remained in critical condition without brain activity until her death on Jan. 15, prosecutors said. An autopsy determined she died of blunt force injuries to her head.

Silva was arrested Thursday and admitted to attacking Solis and putting her in the van in a video-recorded interview with detectives, but did not provide a reason for slamming Solis to the ground, prosecutors said.

Silva was subsequently charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and attempted criminal sexual assault.

Silva grew up in the city and lives with his mother and siblings while working a full-time and a part-time job, his assistant public defender said.

Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered Silva held without bail and set his next court date for March 24.

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