A South Side woman used an unusual method to kill her boyfriend — poisoning him with bleach, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday — and she’s now jailed on a murder charge.
Darrius Ellis, 26, died after he ingested the bleach during a fight with Yasmine Elder, 24, in a minivan earlier this week, Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Carlson said.
Judge Donald Panarese Jr. ordered Elder, of the 6400 block of South Paulina, held in lieu of $1 million bail.
On Monday morning, the couple started arguing after Elder picked up Ellis from work, Carlson said.
At one point, Elder, who is 5-foot-3 and weighs 207 pounds, climbed on top Ellis as he was lying in the vehicle’s bucket seats, Carlson said. Ellis stood 5-foot-7 and weighed only 130 pounds.
Elder went on to grab Ellis’ dreadlocks and then placed her knee on top of him before they started struggling with a bottle of bleach that was in the minivan, Carlson said.
Elder allegedly doused the liquid on Ellis’ face, causing the bleach to go down his throat.
Elder then got off Ellis and left the minivan, Carlson said. As she walked away from the 6500 block of South Bishop, Elder heard Ellis yell that he couldn’t breathe, prosecutors said.
Ellis managed to drive the minivan to a friend’s apartment and told that person and others there that Elder had poisoned him, Carlson said. Ellis, who had a large bleach stain on his shirt, ended up collapsing on the landing and foaming at the mouth, Carlson said.
His friends called 911 and emergency workers took him to Stroger Hospital.
When one of Ellis’ friends walked to his home to tell his family what had happened, Elder happened to be strolling nearby, Carlson said. That friend confronted Elder, who admitted that she poured bleach on Ellis and laughed when she was told he might die, Carlson said.
Ellis died shortly after being hospitalized.
When Elder was arrested the same day, authorities noticed she had an injury on her hand consistent with a bleach burn, Carlson said.
Ellis’ body and clothing were consistent with bleach being forcibly ingested, according to an autopsy by the Cook County medical examiner’s office. His internal injuries to his esophagus and stomach were consistent with chemical burns and his stomach had a PH level between 12 and 13, the autopsy revealed. Normal PH levels are between 5 and 6.
The autopsy also showed he had rounded abrasions to his neck, cheeks and back, consistent with fingernail marks caused being held down, Carlson said.
Besides her murder charge, Elder is on court supervision for hitting a neighbor with a metal lock in Winnebago County, Carlson said. She is single, graduated from high school and used to work in a bakery, Assistant Public Defender Lorne Gorelick said.