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Chicago man charged with 2011 murder of pregnant Highland woman

Isiah Barker. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media









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Isiah Barker. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media ptmet

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Updated: January 14, 2013 7:26AM



Authorities are looking for a Chicago man charged with killing his pregnant girlfriend in Highland in June 2011.

Charges of murder and feticide were filed against Isiah L. Barker in the death of Cynthia Funches, whose body was found in a large blue plastic storage bin left in an empty garage at 10038 S. Normal Ave., Chicago, and discovered by the owner who was rehabbing the property. The owner told police he had secured the door with nails on June 21, 2011, and returned the following day to discover the door had been kicked in and secured with a padlock that wasn’t his.

Funches, 26, was 20 weeks pregnant when her body was found. She died of multiple blunt force injuries due to assault.

Less than two weeks before the homicide, Funches called Chicago police after Barker struck her with a metal pole and his hands while they were riding in a car. Funches was dropped off at 11437 S. Eggleston in Chicago, where she called police and was taken to Roseland Hospital.

Police interviewed a co-worker of Funches, who worked at Renaissance Park South. At about 6:20 a.m. June 21, 2011, she called off work. The witness said she heard a male voice in the background: “Man, we ain’t got time for this (expletive). You have to go to the hospital” and “hang up the damn phone, we got to go,” the probable cause affidavit states.

On June 22, 2011, Funches’ family members called Hampton in Highland apartments management for a welfare check, but Funches was not found. Police noticed damage to the door trim, several pieces of rolled up carpet in the bedroom and hallway, a bed frame with the mattress missing and a broken mirror on the bedroom closet door. Police also found apparent blood spots inside and several bottles of cleaning solutions and bleach.

The FBI traced the blue tote containing Funches’ body to the Schererville Wal-Mart. The man who made the purchase has not been charged but is identified in court records as a friend of Barker’s.

Barker, 28, of 8350 S. Green, Chicago, faces 45 to 65 years if convicted of murder and six to 20 years if convicted of feticide.

Police also located a 1996 Ford Taurus related to the case. Inside was a bottle of Liquid Fire, a 60-pound bag of Quickrete, a bucket, scrub brush and spray bottle with a concentrated cleaner. Investigators traced that purchase to a True Value Hardware store at 93rd and South Halsted Street in Chicago. Surveillance footage shows Barker making the purchase with the other man on June 22, 2011.

The case, which was filed Nov. 1 in Lake Superior Court, was unsealed on Wednesday.



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