Brother of Naperville homicide victim found in Florida

 
Updated 7/19/2011 7:53 PM
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  • Mark R. Lewis

    Mark R. Lewis

The brother of a 59-year-old Naperville woman who was found beaten to death last month has been detained in Florida, police said Tuesday.

Mark R. Lewis, 51, of Lakemoor, has been described by police as a "person of interest" in the June homicide of his sister Cathleen Lewis. He also was wanted on identity theft charges.

Naperville police said Mark Lewis was arrested shortly before 8 p.m. on July 14 in a parking lot along the Gulf Beach Highway in Pensacola, Fla., after he was reported to police as a suspicious person. Lewis told officers at the scene that he was headed to a nearby naval base, police said.

Lewis was being held in Escambia County jail Tuesday, pending extradition to Illinois, where he faces identity theft charges alleging forgery of his mother's bank account. Police said he was taken into custody peacefully.

Authorities have not called Lewis a suspect in his sister's homicide, but said they were concerned after his family and friends didn't hear from him for several days following her death.

Cathleen Lewis's body was found on June 8 after her 83-year-old mother called police to request a well-being check at the townhouse they shared in Naperville. An autopsy the following day showed multiple injuries and blunt trauma, which authorities attributed to the victim being struck on the head several times.

Police tried to find the victim's brother by entering him into a national law enforcement database, soliciting tips, and appealing to the public to look for his green 1999 Ford Explorer. Authorities said he was driving that vehicle, still bearing Illinois license plates, when he was arrested in Florida.

Will County state's attorney's office spokesman Chuck Pelkie declined to comment Tuesday night. No other details were provided by police, but Sgt. Gregg Bell said authorities are "still actively investigating" the homicide.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call police at (630) 420-6147 or Naperville Crime Stoppers at (630) 420-6006.