The prime suspect in a gruesome murder in Chicago has been identified as a man from San Diego.
Grant Muren, 21, is accused of strangling his new roommate in their suburban Chicago apartment after the two met through a Craigslist ad, prosecutors said.
Muren's last known address was in Carmel Valley. He went to high school at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas.
Prosecutors allege Muren killed 55-year-old Charles Clarke after the two got into an argument following a sexual encounter just eight hours after Muren moved into Clark’s townhouse in the Chicago suburb of Naperville.
During the argument, Muren struck Clarke on the head with a small table and strangled him, authorities said.
The men met after Clarke, a self-employed computer specialist, posted an ad on Craigslist seeking a roommate and Muren moved in, prosecutors said.
Police responded to a call at Clarke's home Jan. 22, where responding officers smelled natural gas and found a deceased body in the bedroom area, officials said.
Following the murder, prosecutors allege Muren removed his personal belongings from the home, attempted to burn a lease agreement the two had drafted by putting it in the toaster, turned on the gas to the stove and left the oven door open.
Clarke was discovered in the home with contusions to his face and head, and the tips of one of his fingers appeared to have been bitten off, prosecutors said.
“Several days ago, Charles Clarke’s life came to an abrupt and violent end, allegedly at the hands of his new roommate,” DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Clarke’s family and friends as they try to cope with this senseless tragedy."
Muren was arrested Jan. 23 and charged with first-degree murder and concealing a homicide. His bond was set at $2 million Saturday morning, according to the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office.
A neighbor said Clarke, who was in his 50s, lived alone and was a “nice man.” He said Clarke had a girlfriend, who visited occasionally and that Clarke asked him before if he knew someone looking for a place to rent.
The neighbor said he warned Clarke not to put out the ad.
Muren is scheduled to be back in court Feb. 24 in Chicago.