Chicago police talking to person of interest in murder of pregnant woman dumped in Lake Michigan

Chicago police are speaking to a person of interest in the murder of a pregnant woman found in Lake Michigan last month, a police spokesperson said Friday.

Police did not release any other details of the investigation into the death of Yarianna Wheeler, 19, who was spotted by a fisherman Aug. 15 three miles southeast of Waukegan Harbor. She was six months pregnant.

Wheeler had been stabbed several times before she was dumped into the water, an autopsy found.

She was living in Chicago but was originally from west suburban Bellwood, according to the Lake County sheriff’s office. She was likely in the water for a week or two before she was found.


It wasn’t immediately clear where she was dumped into the water. She may have entered the water anywhere from the northern Indiana shoreline to the northern Illinois shoreline of Lake Michigan, the sheriff’s office has said.

The body of a man recovered around the same time and location was identified as Martin Mendoza, 49, of Waukesha, Wisconsin. He drowned near the 63rd Street Harbor in Chicago on Aug. 8. Authorities said his drowning was not related to Wheeler’s death.