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updated: 11/28/2011 7:20 PM

Slain Naperville woman's Lakemoor brother charged with murder

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  • Mark Lewis

      Mark Lewis

 

A Lakemoor man has been charged with beating his sister to death in a June home invasion and burglary at her Naperville townhouse, Will County authorities said Monday.

Mark Lewis, 51, faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count each of home invasion and residential burglary in connection with the fatal beating of 59-year-old Cathleen Lewis, according to a grand jury indictment.

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Authorities said Mark Lewis repeatedly struck the victim in the head with a blunt object on June 6 after entering the townhouse she shared with their mother. The victim was found two days later, fatally beaten in her bed, police said, after her 83-year-old mother told police she was unable to reach her daughter by phone while traveling out of town.

An autopsy showed Cathleen Lewis died of multiple injuries of blunt head trauma, indicating she was struck several times, coroner's officials said. Naperville Police Sgt. Gregg Bell said police believe they know what the murder weapon was, but they have not located it. He declined to elaborate, citing an ongoing investigation.

"We know it was an object that was dense and strong enough to cause severe head trauma," Bell said.

Bell said the only motive immediately clear was money. Within days of the killing, he said, Lewis forged and cashed more than $2,000 in checks that belonged to his mother and were taken from the scene of the slaying.

A monthlong search for Lewis ended July 14 when police responding to a report of a suspicious person stopped him in a parking lot along Gulf Beach Highway in Pensacola, Fla. Lewis told officers at the scene he was headed to a nearby naval base.

Lewis was later extradited to Illinois on identity theft charges stemming from the alleged check scheme. Police also had named him as a "person of interest" in his sister's slaying.

"We're definitely pleased with the indictment," Bell said. "A lot of man hours, time and effort went into this investigation. Hopefully, it can be brought to a successful conclusion."

Lewis is being held in the Will County jail on $1.5 million bail and is scheduled for arraignment Dec. 19, prosecutors said.

Family members of the victim and defendant could not immediately be reached for comment.

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