Family says Chicago trader accused of killing his ‘best friend’ is innocent

SHARE Family says Chicago trader accused of killing his ‘best friend’ is innocent

Michael Pelko | Chicago Police

Relatives of a trader from the southwest suburbs said Wednesday that they believe he is innocent of charges that he killed his best friend and then dumped the body in a South Side alley last summer.

Michael Pelko, 37, of Willow Springs, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his longtime friend Izat Morrar, whose body was found July 20, 2017, in an alley near the 5300 block of South Calumet.

Pelko waved and blew a kiss to members of his family after entering the courtroom Wednesday.

Pelko’s wife declined to comment on the charges after his appearance, but his aunt, Linda Bradshaw, said she believes he is innocent.

“This was his best friend, their kids are best friends,” Bradshaw said of Pelko’s relationship with Morrar. “He couldn’t have done it.”

Bradshaw said she was shocked when she heard the allegations. She said she thinks the case is full of holes.

“They said he killed someone with a 9 mm [handgun],” Bradshaw said. “He doesn’t even own a 9 mm.”

Morrar was shot twice in the head head at close range, Cook County prosecutors said at a Jan. 17 hearing where Pelko was denied bail.

Blood matching Morrar’s DNA was found in Pelko’s SUV, which matched a vehicle seen on video surveillance near Morrar’s South Loop apartment, and the alley where he was found dead, prosecutors said.

Pelko, who works at the Chicago Board of Trade, has two children, and coaches soccer and baseball, according to his attorney.

He isscheduled to appear in court again Feb. 13.

The Latest
It might take a while for Jones to earn a spot in the offense, but he can be a factor in the return game until then. He nearly fumbled away the opening kickoff Thursday, but also had a big return that led to a touchdown.
Yes, COVID-19 seems to be receding overall. But too many students, Black students, in particular, remain unvaccinated.
The incident occurred just north of downtown Highland Park near Elm Place, according to Metra officials.
Even if Chicagoans want to support and get on board with investing in a better, more environmentally friendly CTA, if they are too scared to use public transit, they won’t.
Defense, turnovers and three-point shooting are three key areas the Sky need to adjust before Game 2 Saturday against the Liberty.