Man had machete in his backpack, missing girlfriend dead in his bedroom: prosecutors

CHICAGO — A Logan Square man was carrying a machete in his backpack when Chicago police detectives approached him to discuss the disappearance of his girlfriend, who was later found nearly decapitated inside a duffle bag in his bedroom, prosecutors said Thursday.

Genesis Silva, a registered sex offender once charged with trying to kill his now ex-wife, was held without bail during a bond hearing by Judge William Fahy. Technically, Silva is being held without bail for allegedly being a felon in possession of a weapon—the machete—because the other felony he faces, concealing a homicidal death, is not eligible for no-bail holds in Illinois.

Prosecutors have not charged Silva with murdering his girlfriend, Brittany Battaglia, but Chicago police continue to investigate the case.

Missing Person

Silva and Battaglia had been dating since last spring, prosecutors told Judge Fahy. Her roommate last saw her around 6:30 p.m. on June 2 when Battaglia left their apartment, saying she would walk to Silva’s nearby home and then go to a party.

Officials said the roommate and the roommate’s boyfriend filed separate missing person reports when Battaglia did not return by Sunday.

Chicago police detectives staked out Silva’s home as part of the missing person investigation. The investigators saw Silva leave the house and stopped him for a conversation. With a red and black backpack draped over his shoulder, Silva spoke with the detectives and then walked them back to his apartment in the 2000 block of North Kimball, prosecutors said.

Evidence collected

Detectives found Battaglia’s body inside a large duffle bag in Silva’s bedroom, prosecutors alleged. And the backpack he had been carrying allegedly contained a machete. The medical examiner ruled Battaglia’s death a homicide by multiple sharp force wounds.

Genesis Silva and Brittany Battaglia | Chicago Police Department

In the kitchen, two garbage bags near a tarp contained shoes, a bucket, a paint suit, gloves, bleach, and a Swiffer. Tests of the materials showed the presence of blood, but none was visible, according to prosecutors.

Police also found three lists of items like cleaning supplies, chemicals, and boots.

A recovered note that allegedly read, “Can you ask average time until smell, etc?”

Officials claimed Silva was carrying two phones, two pocket knives, and an icepick when police arrested him. The machete in his backpack also tested positive for blood, prosecutors said. A second machete was found in his car. DNA tests are still pending on various items that police recovered.


Silva was charged with attempted murder and sexual assault of his wife in 2009, prosecutors said Thursday. After returning home from a party, the couple argued, and he strangled her, repeatedly asking, “Why won’t you just die?”

He then forced her into bed at knifepoint and sexually assaulted her, according to officials.

Prosecutors eventually settled the case by allowing Silva to plead guilty to a single charge of criminal sexual abuse in exchange for a two-year probation sentence.

The couple has since divorced.

“He had a deep hate for women,” Silva’s ex-wife told the Sun-Times yesterday. “It’s definitely one of those American Psycho type of things because it’s like two completely different sides of a person.”

‘Turned his life around’

“By all accounts, Mr. Silva has turned his life around,” his defense attorney argued Thursday. She said he participates in “harm reduction” by distributing Narcan and discouraging the use of narcotics. 

A Whitney Young graduate, he owns Genesis Platforms, an audiovisual consulting company, the lawyer continued.

She objected to the state’s no-bail request, arguing that a machete does not qualify as a weapon under relevant state law.

Judge Fahy disagreed.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is