CHICAGO - A 21-year-old Chicago man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Yarianna Wheeler, whose body was discovered this summer in Lake Michigan.

Yarianna Wheeler was approximately seven months pregnant at the time of her slaying.

Yarianna Wheeler's body was discovered by a fisherman three miles southeast of Waukegan Harbor. According to the Lake County Coroner's office, an autopsy revealed drowning and several stab wounds. Authorities were able to identify Wheeler after someone recognized her from a composite sketch two weeks later and it was verified through dental records.

After she was identified, investigators searched Wheeler’s home in Chicago for evidence and worked with the U.S. Coast Guard to track water currents in an effort to narrow down where she might have entered the water, the Lake County Sheriff’s office said.[1]

Once they had narrowed down a suspect and potential crime scene, due to its location the investigation was turned over to the Chicago Police department.

Robert Drummond, 21, of the 4300 block of South Berkeley Avenue in Chicago, was taken into custody by Chicago Police and charged with first-degree murder.

According to investigators, Drummond had been in touch with Wheeler near Oakwood Beach on the city's southeast side and that it appeared they were in some sort of a relationship.

"I am incredibly proud of the tenacious efforts of our detectives throughout this investigation," said Lake County Sheriff John D. Idleburg. "Through their hard and diligent work, they quickly identified a person of interest, discovered the likely crime scene, and worked with Chicago Detectives to further the investigation. We will always do everything in our power to be the voice of victims who are unable to speak for themselves and hold those who victimized them accountable."

Notes & References

  1. “News Flash • Lake County, IL • Civicengage.” Lake County, IL. Accessed November 6, 2021. ↩︎