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Published On: Sun, Oct 28th, 2018

Peter Zabala arrested after burnt human remains identified as missing Joliet woman, Ashley Tucker

Police have made an arrest in the case of Ashley Tucker, who was identified as the human remains discovered Friday. The coroner confirmed the body belonged to the missing woman, found in a barrel with “severe thermal injuries.”

Peter Zabala was arrested around 9:15 p.m. Sunday for failing to comply with the sex offender registration act and was being questioned in Tucker’s disappearance. Zabala was the last known person to see Tucker prior to her disappearance, according to police, who said he was also acting suspiciously before and after she went missing.

Tucker, 25, who was reported missing on October 12 after attending a family party, was identified by her tattoos on her wrists, to the body found Friday.

“This is a perfect example of when everyone in the city of Joliet works together of what can be accomplished in a short period of time,” Joliet Police Chief Alan Roechner said in a statement. “We will continue in our efforts to find the truth as to what happened to Ashley, and will not stop until we can finally bring this investigation to a successful conclusion.”

Ashley Tucker

Tucker was last seen purchasing a cup of soup at a local restaurant. Her family says she was heading home from a party at her father’s house. Police have not confirmed many of the details reported by the family: her car found at home, missing cell phone and keys or the blood on her jacket.

Tucker’s burned body was found at the 3500 block of State Street where a badly burned body on Friday morning.

The exact cause of death is still under investigation.

Zabala, 42, was quickly considered a person of interest in the investigation. He was wanted for violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Peter Zabala

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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