A Chicago man on parole proposed to his girlfriend last month with two rings he'd pulled off the fingers of a woman he’d killed just five days earlier.
The Cook County State's Attorney's Office said Raymond Harris, 36, had been on parole since May after serving 13 years of a 30-year sentence for attempted murder and aggravated arson, Reuters reported.
On Oct. 22, Harris beat a 73-year-old former nurse named Virginia Perillo to death in her garage in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood, the Chicago Tribune reported. After a neighbor found her unconscious, she was rushed to the hospital, but died two days later.
Harris took his victim’s wedding band to a jeweler and had it engraved, "To Lorraine," the name of his high school girlfriend, with whom he’d reconnected since leaving prison, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Lorraine Reed, of suburban Carpentersville, Ill., told the Chicago Tribune: "He said that I was his rock, he said he loved me, and he asked me to marry him. I just looked at the rings and said, 'Yeah!' ”
However, during the assault, Harris’ wristwatch had fallen off, Reuters reported. Since state law requires felons to submit samples of their DNA, Harris’ DNA was in state records and police matched it to DNA on the watch.
Reed turned over the rings to police when they confronted her at her home last week, the Chicago Tribune reported. "My heart just dropped," Reed told the Chicago Tribune. “Our relationship was built on nothing but lies." She said she’d thought Harris had put his violent past behind him, as he’d found a job and started going to church regularly.
Harris was arrested, and is being held without bail on charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery, CBS News reported.
The rings are being held by police as evidence, the Chicago Tribune reported.