Eduardo Ivanez bound over for trial in Romero murder

MILWAUKEE -- Eduardo Ivanez, the Milwaukee man facing two charges in connection with the murder of 15-year-old Stephanie Romero, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning, May 2nd and will face trial.

Romero was found dead inside a home near 25th and Rogers on the city’s south side on Friday, April 20th.

17-year-old Eduardo Ivanez faces two charges — first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.

The criminal complaint in this case indicates Ivanez, also known as “Smokey,” lived just two doors from where Romero was found dead. Many of the details in the complaint are far too graphic to be included in this story.

Officers interviewed several people about what led to Romero’s death. The complaint indicates Ivanez was with Romero on Friday, April 13th and had sexual relations with Romero and later “squeezed her throat with both hands for approximately two minutes, choking her.” The witness statement says because Romero was still breathing, Ivanez and another person dragged her to a bathroom.

The complaint then says “Smokey then went to the living room and obtained a knife from the victim’s black leather purse…it was a wooden handled knifed with a bent blade. Smokey then got on top of the victim and stabbed her once in the neck and then stabbed her in the left eye.”

A couple of days later, the complaint indicates Ivanez wanted to move Romero’s body. He and another person took the body upstairs to a crawl space. The person with Ivanez was “touching and feeling on her breasts…because he was kind of bored.”

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on the body of Romero. He determined the cause of death as strangulation. However, the autopsy also showed Romero suffered cuts, abrasions and other blunt forces injuries.

Stephanie Romero

Stephanie Romero

Stuffed animals, candles and balloons were placed in front of the house where Romero was found dead.  Her friends shared memories of Stephanie.

“She was smart, really funny. She knew how to make everybody smile. She gave the most sincerest hugs,” said Alanis Skenandore, Stephanie’s best friend.

If convicted of these charges, Ivanez faces up to life in prison.

FOX6 News has calls into the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office to learn whether charges for any other individuals involved in this case are imminent.

Ivanez's next court appearance is set for Monday, May 21st -- when he'll appear for a scheduling conference.

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