Teen charged with death of young Zion mother Melanie Yates on the run, police say

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Zion mother of 2 killed by apparent stray bullet: police
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Young mother Melanie Yates was killed by an apparent stray bullet Saturday night, Zion police said.

ZION, Ill. (WLS) -- Zion police are searching for a 16-year-old charged in the stray bullet death of Melanie Yates.

Lake County, Ill., officials said Zechariah Miles of Zion has been charged as an adult with first degree murder for the death of the young mother. A Lake County judge has set Myles' bond as $3 million.

Police said they were called to a home in the 2800-block of Enoch Avenue around 9 p.m. Saturday, October 16, where they found Yates inside her home, struck in the head by a bullet. She was taken to a local hospital in extremely critical condition, where she died the next morning.

Police said through the course of their investigation they believe Myles, who lives on the same block as Yates, had left his home that night and "began recklessly shooting a rifle at another individual." Yates, police said, was struck by one of those bullets and killed.

She was not the intended target, police said.

Despite the arrest warrant and attempts to apprehend him, police said they believe Myles is "actively working to avoid apprehension." He is described as 5 ft. 5 inches tall, 135 lbs. with brown eyes and black hair.

If you see Myles, do not attempt to apprehend or approach him, police warned. Instead, call 911. If you have information about his whereabouts you can call Zion police at 847-872-8000 or leave an anonymous tip with Lake County Crimestoppers at 847-662-2222.

Please note: The video in this story is from a previous report