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Man charged with murder of his son’s mother in Skokie

Jermaine Powell | Skokie police

A man has been charged with murder for the strangulation of his child’s mother last year in north suburban Skokie.

Jermaine Powell, 38, was charged Thursday with two counts of murder and one count of aggravated domestic battery for the death of 31-year-old Catherine Benyamin, according to a statement from Skokie police.

Authorities were called to check on Benyamin’s well-being at 10:24 a.m. March 24, 2016, police said. They arrived to find her dead in an apartment in the 8200 block of Keating Avenue in Skokie.

An autopsy found she had been strangled, and her death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Joshua Powell, the infant son of Benyamin and Jermaine Powell, was missing until about 7 p.m. the day Benyamin was found, when authorities were informed the baby had been dropped off at a church near Halsted and Roosevelt on the Near West Side of Chicago, police said at the time. Someone matching the father’s description dropped the boy off at the church. He was later placed in the care of a family member.

Jermaine Powell was arrested on a warrant for a parole violation on March 28, 2016, authorities said. He was also charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal trespass to a motor vehicle. He was still in custody at the Cook County Jail when the murder charges were filed against him.

Powell was ordered held without bond on the murder charges, and is expected to appear in court again Feb. 2.