A 27-year-old man was charged Thursday in the death of a Nigerian student at Illinois State University whose badly burned body was found in the charred rubble of a Mississippi chicken house. McLean County State's Attorney Bill Yoder said Maurice Wallace faces three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of concealing a homicide and one count of theft of a motor vehicle in connection with the death of 21-year-old Olamide Adeyooye.
A student from suburban Chicago, Adeyooye was last seen Oct. 13 at a video store near her off-campus apartment in the city of Normal. Wallace is due in court Friday for a bond hearing where prosecutors said they will seek to have him held on $2 million (Ђ1.7 million) bond.
The McLean County public defenders office, which is representing Wallace, did not immediately comment on the case. Adeyooye's badly burned body was found Oct. 21 in Mississippi when the chicken coop's owner was cleaning up from a fire four days earlier. She was later identified through dental records.
Wallace, who lived on the same block as Adeyooye, has been in custody since Oct. 20, when he was arrested in Atlanta on unrelated charges. Adeyooye's car was found abandoned in Atlanta on Oct. 30. Wallace and Adeyooye knew each other and he had been to her apartment, according to friends of Adeyooye, who was scheduled to graduate this month from the 20,000-student university.
Authorities said two autopsies failed to pinpoint the cause of death, but they will seek another autopsy and further forensic tests, the AP reported. A native of Nigeria, Adeyooye moved to the Chicago suburb of Berkeley when she was 8. She studied laboratory sciences and biology at ISU.