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Man Held in Murder of Teen

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A Chicago man will remain held in lieu of bail after appearing in court Nov. 9 on charges he killed a 14-year-old boy whose body was found in Lincoln Park in August, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Shawn Thigpen, 28, of the 8100 block of South Peoria, already had been charged with sexually abusing teenager Michael Williams, but on Nov. 8 a first-degree murder charge was added. Thigpen also is charged with assaulting or attempting to assault three other teens, and prosecutors said evidence shows he would become violent when refused sex.

Prosecutors said cell phone records show that a call was made from Thigpen's cell phone at 2:45 a.m. and connected through a cell tower near where the adolescent's body was found a few hours later. Thigpen's DNA had already been recovered from the victim.

Police spokesman Pat Camden told Windy City Times that investigators 'looked at the DNA evidence and his inability to explain it. You have a 14-year-old victim and there's DNA evidence; how did it get there? Legally, there is no way it can be there. ... We made sure that, before he was charged, all of our ducks were in a row. All of the other [ analyses ] have been done and it's enough to go ahead and proceed with the charge of murder.'

In addition to charges in the Williams slaying, prosecutors charged Thigpen on Nov. 8 with attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault in another case, this one involving a 19-year-old man in December.

The Cook County medical examiner's office said Williams died of suffocation.

— Andrew Davis

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