The woman's body was discovered Thursday in her Oak Lawn apartment. Investigators had ruled her death a homicide.
Oak Lawn police conducted a well-being check after Sams failed to show up for work for several days. That's when they discovered her body in the 9500 block of South Tripp.
" She worked for the county, for Cook County," said Jerry Healy, a neighbor of the victim.
"I didn't really know much. We'd say hello," neighbor Debbie Russell said. "She was my age."
When authorities discovered the woman's car was missing, they ran a check on the license plates. That led them to Mahomet, where Dicharo was in custody on an unrelated charge. Police said he had his mother's car when he was arrested.
The Cook County Medical Examiner says Sams apparently died from multiple trauma. The woman had been dead for several days when she was discovered; her body was decomposed.
"I did not hear a thing. We don't even know what time it was, daytime or night," said Russell.
Those living in her neighborhood say Sams was friendly. She lived with her 17-year-old son and worked evenings at the Bridgeview courthouse as a custodian.
"It's definitely scary," said Russell.