Carjacker left note apologizing for attack, four days later victim died, prosecutors say


Three hours after Ma Operio was attacked and left dying outside her Harwood Heights home, police stopped her stolen Toyota about 60 miles away in Crete.

After arresting the man behind the wheel, police found a note by him in the car apologizing for the violent carjacking, according to prosecutors.

“I’m deeply sorry for hurting anyone at the moment, it seemed to be the only choice,” Reese Miller wrote on paper he found inside the car, prosecutors said. ”It was never something I ever thought possible.”

Operio died four days later from injuries she suffered when Miller allegedly wrapped a zip-tie around her neck, choking her, after pulling her from her car last Wednesday. She was 61.

Surveillance video shows Miller walking toward Operio’s home in the 4400 block of Natchez Avenue shortly before 6:30 a.m., according to prosecutors. Miller told police he pulled Operio from her car, threw her to the ground and tightened the zip-tie around her neck.

He then moved her away from the Toyota and sped off, prosecutors said. A neighbor found her struggling to breathe and called 911. 

The license plate on the car was tracked in Sauk Village and University Park before police pulled the Toyota over in Crete. Miller was arrested and the car was towed to Harwood Heights, where police found the note and a knife, prosecutors said.

Operio was taken in critical condition to Lutheran General Hospital, where doctors said she showed no brain function and was not expected to regain consciousness. She was pronounced dead Sunday evening.

Miller, 24, was charged with first-degree murder and vehicular hijacking.


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