Police have arrested a man in Chicago, Illinois, suspected of beating a pastor to death inside her apartment last weekend.
The suspect, 59-year-old Marvin Wells, was charged with one felony count of first-degree murder, one felony count of home invasion, one felony count of armed robbery with a dangerous weapon, one felony count of possessing a stolen vehicle and one felony count of possession of a controlled substance.
According to Chicago police, Wells is suspected of breaking into Pastor Marisol Berrios’ apartment Saturday morning and beating her to death. He also stole her purse and drove off in her sister’s car.
As reported by WFLD-TV, Berrios, 53, would frequently help Wells, who did odd jobs on her block, by giving him money and food.
“When I saw his face, my heart was broken because this is someone she fed and even given money to. Marisol would say, ‘Honey, I know they are addicts, they just need a chance, and they just need something to do,'” Berrios’ friend Leatisha Bailey told the outlet.
“How do you so heinously hurt somebody that was so compassionate and giving and selfless,” she added. “She would connect with ministries that would go all around the world and help people when disasters would happen.”
As noted by prosecutors, Wells confessed to killing Berrios after learning she had recently collected rent money for the landlord of her apartment.
Police officers eventually found him slumped over the driver’s seat of the stolen vehicle where he had pulled over to rest. However, he drove off, and police chased him until he crashed his car.
Blood was found in the suspect’s jeans and shoes, prosecutors told The Chicago Sun-Times. During his bond hearing, Wells was ordered to be held without bail.
Berrios, who was born in Puerto Rico, had been living in Chicago for the last four years. Previously, she resided in Mexico and California.
Back in California, “She had a halfway house. She would cook for them and pray for them,” her sister, Raquel Berrios, told The Sun-Times. “She helped immigrants, Hispanics, minorities, and the homeless and ran a food pantry from a church parking lot.”
In Chicago, Marisol would store food and additional goods in her home and donate them to those in need.
“She never judged,” her sister told the outlet. “She would sit down with them and hold them and pray with them.”
The Berrios family has launched a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of Marisol’s funeral. As of Friday morning, the page raised $7,905 of its $10,000 goal.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/z1b
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
Several years ago, my husband and I began attending a local Evangelical, non-denominational church, and we loved it. We cherished the sense of community we found among the loving and authentic people we met there, and the intelligent, “outside the box” pastor who led our flock with thought-provoking and insightful sermons. Sadly, the church started going off the rails theologically, and after about a year and a half, we made the difficult decision to leave. Today that church is a self-titled “Progressive Christian Community.” Back then I had never heard of “Progressive Christianity,” and even now it is difficult to pin down what actually qualifies someone as a Progressive Christian, due to the diversity of beliefs that fall under that designation. However, there are signs—certain phrases and ideas—that seem to be consistent in Progressive circles. – Alisa Childers
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