A 24-year-old woman is being held on $1 million bond for allegedly killing her boyfriend by forcing him to drink bleach.
Yasmine Elder was charged with first-degree murder in the gruesome death of Darius Ellis, a killing prosecutors say was spurred by a heated argument that turned physical.
The two were sitting in a van shortly after Elder got off work early Monday from her job at an area bakery when the couple got into an argument. As the dispute turned physical, Elder — who authorities say weighed about 77 pounds more than her boyfriend — allegedly climbed on top of Ellis and grabbed him by his dreadlocks to gain control of him. Ellis, 26, was lying between the bucket seats at that time.
“The defendant placed her knee on the victim to hold him down,” Cook County assistant state’s attorney Joseph Carlson said during Elder’s bond hearing Thursday. “There was a bottle of bleach inside the van; the defendant and victim struggled with the bottle. The defendant then poured the bleach on the victim’s face, dousing him, and causing the bleach to go down his throat.”
Elder eventually got off Ellis and left the van. Ellis drove himself to the apartment of a friend, where he told multiple witnesses Elder poured bleach down his throat. Ellis collapsed on the landing of his friend’s apartment building and began to foam at the mouth.
He was rushed to the hospital, but died hours later from his injuries. An autopsy revealed Ellis had a bruise and abrasions to his left cheek and bruises to his head and back as well as chemical burns to his stomach and esophagus. Tests of the contents of the man’s stomach revealed his pH levels — the measure of concentration of hydrogen in the body — were between 12 and 13. Normal pH levels are 5 to 6.
Carlson said after the ambulance left, the witnesses walked to the victim's family home to let them know what happened. One of the witnesses saw Elder walking near the home and confronted her about the injuries sustained by the victim.
The witness told investigators Elder admitted to pouring bleach on her boyfriend. She “then laughed at the witness when she was informed that the victim might die,” Carlson said.
Elder was arrested later Monday. At the time of her arrest, she had an injury to her hand consistent with a bleach burn.