CHICAGO — A Logan Square man accused of murdering his girlfriend searched the internet about an unrelated murder case and how to avoid culpability by using a mental health defense. That’s one of the new details prosecutors revealed Friday as they charged Genesis Silva, 34, with killing his 33-year-old girlfriend, Brittany Battaglia, last June.
While Chicago police detectives tried to get Silva charged with the murder after finding Brittany Battaglia’s body inside a duffle bag in Silva’s bedroom last year, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office only approved charges of concealing a homicidal death—until they changed their minds last week.
In a detention petition filed Friday as they charged Silva with first-degree murder, prosecutors said his DNA was found “with strong support” on cleaning products and “refuse” in his apartment. Officials previously said police found a wealth of evidence in Silva’s kitchen: two garbage bags near a tarp containing shoes, a bucket, a paint suit, gloves, bleach, and a Swiffer.
Silva’s DNA was also found on the bag containing Battaglia’s body, a CPD report said. And Judge William Fahy’s detention order said prosecutors believe Silva stabbed Battaglia repeatedly after she went to his apartment to check on his well-being.
Just hours before prosecutors upgraded the charges against Silva last week, they entered a motion in the previously filed case that explained why detectives went to Silva’s home in the first place: In addition to two missing persons reports CPD received for Battaglia, the city also received a 911 call from a friend of Silva’s who asked police to check on his well-being after they had lunch and he became “concerned” about Silva during the meal.
Investigators staked out Silva’s home in the 2000 block of North Kimball and stopped him when he emerged with a red and black backpack flung over his shoulder. The backpack allegedly contained a machete, prosecutors said. A second machete was found in his car, prosecutors said. During that same encounter, police allegedly found Battaglia’s body.
The police also recovered three lists of items like cleaning supplies, chemicals, and boots and a note: “Can you ask average time until smell, etc?”
Fahy, the judge, granted the state’s detention request Friday.
In October, prosecutors accused another man, 37-year-old Peter Mathes, of helping Silva conceal Battaglia’s death. He is on electronic monitoring while the case is pending.