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ARIZONA MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER IN CONNECTION WITH LOCAL COLD CASE

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Sunday, December 21, 2008 —Bond was set today at $1 million for a man charged with murder for allegedly running over his father multiple times with an SUV in unincorporated Calumet Township, according to the Office of Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart.

     Robert Falls Jr., formerly of Merrillville, Indiana, was charged with one count of first degree murder in connection with an incident in a Cook County Forest Preserve in Calumet Township in July, 2006. At that time, Falls Jr. allegedly had a family disagreement with his father, Robert Falls Sr.  Falls Jr. and his father allegedly met at l54th and Campbell Avenue to talk about the issue.

     Four days later, the body of Robert Falls Sr. was discovered in the Clay Hole Woods Forest Preserve. A short time after his father’s body was discovered, Falls Jr. moved out of state. Police believe Falls Jr. allegedly led his father to the forest preserve then repeatedly hit him with the 2002 Ford Explorer SUV he was driving.

     The case went cold for more than a year until Sheriff’s Police learned Falls Jr. was now living and working in Phoenix, Arizona. With the help of Phoenix Police Cold Case officers, officers from both departments took Falls Jr. into custody Dec. 16 at his Phoenix home. He was returned to Chicago Friday night after waiving extradition and appeared in 6th District Circuit Court in Markham this morning.    

     Falls Jr.’s live-in girlfriend, Teresa Johnson, 29, was also charge by Sheriff’s Police with obstruction of justice for failing to cooperate with officers investigating the case. She remains in custody in the Maricopa County Jail in Phoenix, Arizona, pending her return to Chicago.

Falls Jr. will remain in custody at the Cook County Jail unless he is able to post 10 percent of his $1 million bond. He is next slated to appear in court Jan. 8.

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