John Poyer, an 88-year-old World War II veteran who was awarded the Purple Heart after he almost lost his legs in Germany, was just found strangled to death in his home, and a 55-year-old man who lived in the same Chicago-area apartment complex has been charged in his murder.
Elgin police and autopsy specialists wouldn’t reveal when the attack occurred, which they have ruled a homicide, The Daily Mail reported. But they found Mr. Poyer’s body about a week ago, after relatives tried several times, unsuccessfully, to reach him by phone.
Police held a press conference Thursday, shortly after suspect Matthew L. Stoecklein made an appearance in court and was ordered held without bail. In addition to felony murder, Mr. Stoecklein faces charges of home invasion and robbery, The Daily Mail reported.
At the conference, police said they believe the suspect broke into Mr. Poyer’s home, choked him to death and then stole several items. They didn’t specify what was stolen.
Mr. Poyer was described by family as a “great family man” who still worked out every day at 5 a.m. and watched videos of his loved ones every day. The Daily Mail reported. Mr. Poyer’s great granddaughter, Alexis Zwerenz, 16, said the two spent considerable time together.
“He has been my everything since the day I was born,” she said, the Chicago Tribune reported. “The person that did this shattered my entire world.”