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An Illinois man allegedly left an apology note in a vehicle he stole claiming he was “deeply sorry for hurting anyone” after killing a woman by zip-tying her throat.
Reese Miller, 24, was caught on Aug. 30 driving a blue Toyota Scion belonging to Ma L. Operio, 61, about three hours after she was found with a zip-tie around her neck that obstructed her breathing, the Harwood Heights Police Department said.
Operio died from her injuries four days later, FOX 32 reported.
Police recovered a knife and an apology note in the vehicle in which Miller said he was “deeply sorry for hurting anyone at the moment, it seemed to be the only choice.”
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Reese Miller, 24, is accused of stealing a woman’s car and killing her by zip-tying her throat. (Harwood Heights Police)
“I didn’t want to hurt people,” the note continued. “It was never something I ever thought possible until the realization of reality hit me.”
Miller confessed to the crime and was charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated vehicular hijacking, police announced.
Officers found Operio outside her Harwood Heights home just after 6:30 a.m. with the zip-tie around her neck. They removed it, performed CPR and rushed her to the hospital, where she was put on life support. She died on Sept. 3 after family made the decision to take her off of it.
“They said when she was laying on the pavement she was already dead,” Operio’s mother Maria Gimeno told WGNTV. “They revived her when they took her to the ER and then she was brain-dead.”
A neighbor told police they were preparing to leave for work when they witnessed a man lying on top of the woman, appearing to choke her. He allegedly moved Operio’s body after securing the zip-tie and drove off in the car.
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Ma L. Operio died on Sept. 3 after her family took her off life support. (GoFundMe)
Police later located Miller inside the stolen car in Crete, Illinois. Doorbell camera footage obtained during the investigation showed a man that looked like him wearing clothing that matched what he was wearing when he was arrested.
Miller admitted he was the man in the video and that the knife police recovered from the car belonged to him. He said he moved Operio’s body away from the car so that he would not run her over.
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Miller was read his Miranda Rights and provided a statement confessing to the crimes. He is being held with bail in the Cook County Jail with a court date set for Sept. 22.
His public defender told PEOPLE Magazine that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.