Police in Harwood Heights, Illinois, plan to pursue additional charges against Reese Miller, a 24-year-old man accused of beating and choking a woman during a carjacking incident. The victim, 61-year-old Ma Operio, was attacked outside her residence on North Natchez Avenue early Wednesday morning. She was left on life support and tragically succumbed to her injuries on Sunday.
According to court documents, a witness reported seeing Operio lying in the road with a person in a black hoodie on top of her, choking her. The assailant then drove off in Operio’s blue Toyota, leaving the trunk open. The witness immediately called 911, and when officers arrived, they found Operio with a zip tie tightened around her throat. She was rushed to the hospital, but unfortunately, she did not survive.
Miller was apprehended by Crete police officers later that morning while driving the stolen vehicle. He was wearing the same clothes described by a witness and had scrapes on his hands and knees, as well as blood on his jeans. Inside the stolen car, officers discovered a knife and a handwritten note expressing remorse for the actions committed.
Surveillance footage showed Miller wearing the same clothing as during his arrest, walking towards Operio’s home just minutes before the attack. After being read his Miranda rights, Miller admitted to taking the victim’s car, placing the zip tie around her neck, and writing the note found in the vehicle. He also confessed to moving Operio away from the car to prevent running her over.
Miller currently faces charges of first-degree murder and aggravated vehicular hijacking. Following Operio’s death, Harwood Heights police intend to pursue additional charges against him.