Mother of 1992 murder victim hopes for justice after Robert Serritella arrest

CHICAGO (WLS) -- David Chereck's mother has been waiting for a break in her son's murder case for 22 years. In an exclusive television interview with ABC7 Eyewitness News, Esther Chereck said she's relieved cold case detectives made an arrest.

"Justice for David will finally, hopefully happen," Esther Chereck said. "We won't know anything until a trial has ended. But that's all I can ask for, for him."

WATCH: Full interview with Esther Chereck

Robert Serritella was arrested in connection with the 1992 murder of 15-year-old David Chereck. The former suburban Chicago resident was taken into custody in California on Wednesday night. He is scheduled to make a court appearance in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Chuck Goudie's 1998 Interview with Robert Serritella

Chereck was last seen walking home from a Skokie bowling alley along Harms Road on New Year's Day in 1992. His body was found in a forest preserve in Morton Grove a day later. His coat and shoes were missing.

WATCH: 1992 coverage of the Chereck murder

Investigators long considered Serritella the prime suspect in the Niles West High School student's murder. But he wasn't charged - until now.

The ABC7 Eyewitness News I-Team confirmed that Serritella is being held in Los Angeles on an arrest warrant for Chereck's murder. The warrant was approved by Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Chuck Goudie and the I-Team interviewed Serritella in 1998; he maintained his innocence but provided specific details about what happened.

"I was traveling down the street there, ah, this boy waved his hand at me, you know? And I was going about 35 miles an hour, I didn't know what he was waving about. So I stopped, I went ahead and stopped," Serritella said in the 1998 interview. "I looked in my rear-view mirror and there was another white car, similar to mine, that this boy jumped into. And as he jumped in, then I took off and they took off, and they passed me."

After years without any charges, Chereck's family was critical of the investigation.

But the victim's mother said when detectives in the cold case division reopened the case about three years ago at the direction of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, they worked "doggedly" on the investigation.

Some of those detectives were in California Thursday for the arraignment. There are plans to extradite Serritella back to Cook County.

"I believe in God and judgment," Esther Chereck said. "Whether he's convicted or not, there's a higher power that will judge him."

The I-Team has confirmed that Robert Serrittella is being held on an arrest warrant for murder approved by Cook County State?s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

David Chereck would have been 37 years old this year.

Authorities say just before the murder Serritella was sentenced to three years' probation in California, convicted on a charge described as child luring.

Meanwhile, Serritella was arraigned on the murder charge late Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles. His next hearing set for August 25. There is still no motive is being offered in the case.
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