South Side man held in scissors killing

  • Medill News Service
  • February 08, 2006 @ 5:45 AM
A South Side man was ordered held without bond Tuesday on charges that he murdered his girlfriend's autistic sister and stuffed her in a sewer drain to hide the body.

Charles Ester, 53, of the 7800 block of South Drexel Avenue, is accused of stabbing Estella McDaniels, 48, multiple times with scissors on Monday afternoon.

Police found McDaniels alive three hours later in a sewer behind the house she shared with her sister and Ester and rushed her to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, according to police. But she died from her wounds shortly after arriving at the hospital.

According to Assistant State's Attorney LuAnn Snow, Ester repeatedly stabbed McDaniels in the neck and hid her body in the catch basin of the sewer after McDaniels' sister, whose name was not released, left to go grocery shopping.

McDaniels suffered from autism, and her sister was her primary caretaker.

When McDaniels' sister returned home, Snow said, she could not find her sister, but found bloody scissors and blood throughout the house. She asked Ester about her sister's whereabouts, and he said he killed her, according to Snow. Ester then left the house, and McDaniels' sister called the police, prosecutors said.

Police found Ester at a bus stop at the corner of 79th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue and arrested him after a brief foot chase, Snow said. Ester told police where to find McDaniels' body and later gave a statement implicating himself in the crime, according to Snow.

Ester did not attend Tuesday's bond hearing because he is being treated for tuberculosis at Roseland Hospital, according to Tom Stanton, a spokesman for the Cook County State's Attorney.

Ester was previously charged with misdemeanor domestic battery and assault in 1995, but was not convicted of either charge. He has had no arrests since, prosecutors said.

Ester's next court appearance is scheduled for March 1.