Police release person of interest without charges after pregnant woman pulled from Lake Michigan

CHICAGO -- A person who was being questioned by detectives in connection with the murder of a pregnant woman found in Lake Michigan last month has been released without charges.

No one else was in custody in the death of Yarianna Wheeler, 19, Chicago police said Sunday afternoon. The investigation is ongoing.

Police released a surveillance photo of Wheeler that they said was used to point detectives in the right direction.

"When they saw the image, they knew they were on the right track. From there, they were able to obtain dental records which led to her ultimately being identified," Lt. Christopher Covelli, Lake County Sheriff's Office said when they released her identity.

Yarianna G. Wheeler, 19, positively identified as missing pregnant woman found dead in Lake Michigan, according to Lake County (IL) Sheriff Dept.



Wheeler was spotted by a fisherman on Aug. 15, three miles southeast of Waukegan Harbor, police said.

She was six months pregnant and had been stabbed several times before being dumped into the water, an autopsy found.

The sheriff's office had released a sketch of what the woman may look like.

Law enforcement is asking for help identifying the body of a missing pregnant woman who was pulled from Lake Michigan Sunday.



Wheeler, who was living in Chicago at the time, had likely been in the water for a week or two before she was found, according to the Lake County (IL) Sheriff's Office. She was originally from west suburban Bellwood.

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.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2021.)
ABC7 contributed to this post.
The video featured is from a previous report.