It took a long time, but now a former Chicago area man is facing murder charges in relation to the death of a boy, a case that dates back to the early 1990s.
Robert Serritella, 71, has been arrested in California in connection with the 1992 murder of David Chereck, 15.
Serritella used to live in the area not too far from Chereck. He was arrested Wednesday night after Cook County Sheriff’s Department police reopened the cold case at the direction of Sheriff Tom Dart, at the request of Chereck’s mother.
Chereck, a student from Niles West High School, was found strangled to death with his own clothing in a forest preserve about a mile from his Skokie home in January 1992.
Investigators early on focused in on Serritella, and back then, he told detectives he did see Chereck that New Year’s Day when he disappeared. Serritella said he saw him get into a white car similar to his own.
Chereck’s body was found by a jogger not too long after that.
Serritella then moved to California.
Chereck’s mother says more than two decades after the boy was found dead, she is grateful that the man she has suspected all along is finally facing charges.
Dart explains the break in the cold case.
“Serritella has made numerous statements throughout the years on different inconsistencies throughout. But during the course of this he’s also made third-party admissions to other individuals out in California, a couple here,” he said. “All of it just frankly reinforced all the different things we already had.”
Serritella is also a convicted sexual predator in California.
Chereck’s father, who is now deceased, had described his son back then as a nice, young boy, an honor student destined for great things.
Serritella could be back in Cook County within the next 30 days to formally face murder charges, a cold case apparently solved.