JEFFERSON PARK — A 27-year-old man was charged with murder Wednesday in the killing of 19-year-old Meagan Bilbo, who was fatally shot last month in a Jefferson Park alley while leaving a party inside a storefront.
Rusten Reece Relucio, 27, is charged with murder and aggravated battery, Chicago Police said. Relucio, of the 5100 block of N. St. Louis Ave., was arrested Wednesday.
He is scheduled to appear in Cook County bond court Thursday. Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th) also shared news of the arrest on Facebook.
Bilbo, of Portage Park, was one of three people shot Dec. 5 in the alley of Computer Planet, 4804 N. Central Ave. The store, which detectives said was being rented out since October, has been shut down by the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
Bilbo’s family and Jefferson Park neighbors have pressed authorities for answers in her death for weeks.
Police previously said they believe Bilbo was the unintended target of a gang-related shooting. At a crime safety meeting last month, 16th District Captain Mike Barz said the district plans to identify any empty storefronts that could be used for illegal parties in the wake of Bilbo’s death.
“The 16th District is going to have every single officer identify social clubs, illegal parties, vacant storefronts so this can’t happen again,” Barz said. “We are asking for your help in identifying these properties. … If you see a vacant storefront, please report it so we can send out an officer immediately.”
Friends and family remembered the teen as a courageous and confident person who loved dogs, biking in the city and challenging herself. At a vigil held in her honor last year, loved ones said she was a free-spirited, loving friend who wasn’t afraid to go against the grain and wanted to be a tattoo artist.
Her sister, Bridget Bilbo, who is also an illustrator, worked with her sister to design one of her leg tattoos featuring a mushroom and a tree.
“That was a really cool one,” Bridget Bilbo previously said of the design. “I am so glad we got to do that but wish we could have done more.”
Bridget Bilbo has asked the community and friends to donate to Paws Chicago in her sister’s honor.
“Meagan was a big dog person. She walked her friend’s dogs — she was huge on dogs,” her sister said. “She was a relaxed person, very chill…. She would have been the biggest hippie.”
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