Murder Charges Filed in Death of Joliet Woman

Ashley Tucker was last seen at a gas station after leaving a party at her father's house

Joliet police have arrested a man in connection with the murder of a woman who went missing last month. 

42-year-old Peter Zabala, who was being detained as a person of interest in the case, has formally been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the case, and two counts of concealment of a homicide in connection with the death of 25-year-old Ashley Tucker. 

"I can't even begin to describer the diligence and work ethic every member of the Investigations Division has exhibited in working this case," Joliet Chief of Police Al Roechner said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to the family and our mission from day one was to help them attain some semblance of closure, knowing that nothing prepares you for this kind of tragedy." 

Tucker, who was reported missing in October, was found last week in a barrel in Lockport, and her family identified her body over the weekend. 

Her family spent days searching and handing out flyers, always hopeful that they would find Ashley Tucker. Now, they’re trying to process her killing.s.

It’s been a tough two weeks for Tucker’s family and friends.

"It seems unreal," family friend George Lopez said. "They are taking it pretty hard."

"I cant even sleep," Tucker's aunt Lakisa Tucker said. "She stays on my mind."

The 25-year-old went missing from Joliet Oct. 13.

Joliet police took Zabala into custody over the weekend on an unrelated charge. 

Family members say Zabala is an acquaintance who disappeared shortly after Tucker went missing.

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