Chicago man charged with murder, robbery

Jessica Gdowski

CHICAGO — Police announced Sunday the arrest of a Chicago manin connection with the killing of Jenny Wanner, 26.

Ruben Claudio, 17, of the 1800 block of North Mozart Street, wascharged with first-degree murder and robbery.

Wanner, Education ’98 and an admissions counselor at IllinoisInstitute of Technology, was found strangled at 2:18 a.m. on May 11in her apartment on the 2100 block of North Albany Avenue.

Police said Claudio followed Wanner to her apartment, where thepower was out, as she walked the half mile from the CaliforniaStreet stop on the Blue Line of the El to her Logan Squareapartment after a coworker’s party on the night of May 10.

“He observed her and thought she would be a good target forrobbery,” said Cmdr. Lee Epplen of Chicago Police Department.

Epplen said Claudio robbed Wanner of $10 and a credit card afterstrangling her with the strap of her purse.

Claudio first tried to render Wanner unconscious by choking herwith his hands, Epplen said, but when she resisted, he used thestrap from the purse wrapped around her shoulder.

Police interviews with area residents led to Claudio’s arrest,Epplen said. Claudio was arrested at the home of a friend on the2900 block of West Fullerton Avenue. Friends said Claudio hadoffered them use of Wanner’s credit card.

“When they inquired where he obtained the credit card,” Epplensaid, “he told them that he had the occasion to get that creditcard because he took out a woman over the weekend.”

Epplen said he was unsure of Claudio’s bond status Sunday.Claudio had previous contact with the police as a juvenile, butEpplen said he was not allowed to divulge any details of Claudio’srecord.

Epplen said he does not think the power outage contributed toClaudio’s choice of victim, because Claudio first saw Wanner in anarea where the power was on. Police confirmed the power was out atWanner’s residence Friday because of heavy storms in the area.

Police said they were pleased with the investigation’sresolution.

“I’m just very glad we got the information when we needed it,”said Chicago Police Detective Rafael Magallon. “I’m very glad wegot this person off the street. There’s no reason why he should beout there. It could have been my family member or yours.”