Jessica Leach / Photo from Elgin police
Updated: January 20, 2012 8:23AM
An Elgin woman has been charged with murdering a 61-year-old acquaintance found dead in his burning northwest suburban apartment Saturday morning. Charges are pending against a second suspect, police said.
Jessica Leach, 28, of the 0-100 block of Poplar Creek in Elgin, was charged with one count of first-degree murder, according to a statement from Elgin spokeswoman Sue Olafson. Leach is scheduled to appear at a Monday bond hearing in Kane County.
Police believe Leach and a second suspect were attempting to rob 61-year-old James S. Granger at his apartment in Elgin, Olafson said.
Leach, a “friend” of Granger, signaled the second person to come into the apartment early Saturday, police said. At some point the apartment was set on fire.
Emergency personnel responded about 4:45 a.m. Saturday to call of smoke coming from Granger’s apartment, Olafson said.
Firefighters put out the blaze about 15 minutes later and found the badly burned body on the bedroom floor while extinguishing the suspicious blaze, according to Olafson and fire officials.
There was just moderate smoke and no heat when firefighters arrived, Elgin Fire Battalion Chief Terry Bruce said. The fire did $2,000 in damage to the unit and its contents.
Most of Granger’s neighbors declined comment, but one said the man kept to himself.
A check of Kane County criminal records reveals no significant charges against Granger.
Charges against the second suspect are pending but are not expected to be filed for “several more days.”
--Sun-Times Media Wire, Courier-News