Downers Grove man charged in mother's murder

Updated 8/29/2013 7:22 PM

A Downers Grove man is charged with the shooting death of his 61-year-old mother.

DuPage County State's Attorney Robert B. Berlin and Burr Ridge Chief of Police John


Madden announced Thursday that first-degree murder charges have been filed against Michael Zaky Bassaly, 27.

Zaky Bassaly is scheduled to appear in bond court at 8 a.m. Friday at the DuPage County Courthouse.

Yvonne Zaky Bassaly was found early Thursday in a Cadillac outside a Burr Ridge church, law enforcement sources said.

Authorities said the suspect was taken into custody about 1 a.m. after he called 911 from a parking lot at St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church on 79th Street. Burr Ridge Deputy Chief Marc Loftus said the victim was taken to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, where she died shortly before 2 a.m.

More than 800 families, mostly Egyptian, attend the church, which also has an on-site preschool, according to parishioner and church attorney Rebecca Michaels.

She said the victim and suspect may have occasionally visited the church socially but were not active members capable of partaking in sacraments and other traditions.

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"We firmly believe this was people taking advantage of the fact that the church gates were open and it was a quiet, remote place," she said. "These people are not really affiliated with our church."

Michaels said Coptic Christians are targeted for persecution by terrorists around the world, but the church wants to make clear the woman's death was totally unrelated.

"It's unfortunate they used the church because it might have a chilling effect on people coming to the church or people associating violent behavior with a church that's been there over 30 years," she said. "It's the church's position that they were trespassing."

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