CHICAGO — An Elgin man charged with robbing and killing his elderly neighbor days before Thanksgiving killed himself while in custody Thursday.
Matthew Stoecklein, 55, hanged himself in his cell at the Cook County Jail, according to Cara Smith, a sheriff's department spokeswoman. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office determined he committed suicide, according to an autopsy.
Stoecklein — whose cellmate was not present for the suicide — was pronounced dead on the scene at 26th and California at 1:55 p.m. Thursday, Smith said.
He had been charged with first-degree murder, home invasion and robbery after an attack in the 500 block of Hiawatha Drive in northwest suburban Elgin, the Sun-Times reported.
According to Cook County prosecutors, Stoecklein knocked on 88-year-old John Poyer's door about 8 p.m. on Nov. 21. When the World War II veteran answered, Stoecklein strangled him and stole $300, prosecutors said.
Poyer was pronounced dead on the scene at 6:35 p.m. on Nov. 24, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. Prosecutors said relatives found Poyer when they worried because they hadn't heard from him in a few days.
At a news conference after the homicide, relatives said Poyer was a widower who had four children, 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Stoecklein was being held without bail.