PUBLISHED: 05:01 EST, 11 June 2012 | UPDATED: 06:20 EST, 11 June 2012
A teenage girl was allegedly beaten and strangled to death by her mother’s former boyfriend before being thrown into a dumpster.
The body of Jessica Tetter, 16, was found in Hammond, Indiana, the day after disappearing from her Illinois home last Wednesday.
Detectives yesterday charged 27-year-old John Hurt with first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide.
‘Battered’: The body of 16-year-old Jessica Tetter (pictured) was found in a dumpster in Hammond, Indiana, after allegedly being strangled and beaten to death by her mother’s former boyfriend
Assistant Police Chief Dante Zorzi said Hurt was the ex-boyfriend of Tetter’s mother, although the Assistant State’s Attorney Sylvie Manaster claimed he was her husband.
Tetter’s mother said her daughter had stepped in during a row between the couple, who were said to have an ‘on again, off again’ relationship, last Wednesday, it was reported by The Chicago Tribune.
When Tetter’s mother returned later that day, Hurt said her daughter had left the house and not come back and refused to help look for the teenager, Manaster said.
On Friday, it is claimed he walked into the Calumet City Police Department and told ‘a witness… that his daughter tried to fight him and he had killed her’.
‘Admits killing’: John Hurt (pictured) has been charged with first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide over Miss Tetter’s death
Manaster said he admitted to choking her and hauling her body to Hammond.
An autopsy by the Lake County Coroner’s Office ruled that she had died of trauma to the head and body.
Hurt’s bond was set at $1million by Judge Israel Desierto when he appeared at Cook County Bond Court yesterday.
Around 200 classmates, friends and teachers gathered at Thornton Fractional North High School in Calumet City on Saturday for a vigil to honour Miss Tetter, it was reported on CBS 2.
Track coach Moses Hulbert said: ‘I believe that Jessica now is an angel above in heaven, smiling on us.’
Her friend Kathryne Sneed said Miss Tetter had taken up boxing for six years and was on the track team.
‘She would use that to her advantage and people thought was so funny because she was so small,’ she added.
Neighbor Lanesha Sibley said: ‘It’s just sad to see something like this happen so close to somebody you’re used to seeing daily in and out the building.
‘It’s just hurtful for a mother to have to go through something like this.’