Jeremy Mendez, 16, held without bond in murder of retired Chicago Police sergeant

Elmer Brown / Photo from Chicago Police

Elmer Brown / Photo from Chicago Police

Chicago Sun-Times

A 16-year-old Indiana boy was ordered held without bond Wednesday for his alleged role in the murder of an elderly retired Chicago Police sergeant.

While his mother sat next to him, Jeremy Mendez admitted to detectives that he forced himself into 73-year-old Elmer Brown’s home the night of the incident last spring, Cook County prosecutors said.

Jesse Kazmierski, of Hammond, Ind., was charged with the deadly home invasion earlier this month. He also is being held without bond and is awaiting trial at Cook County Jail.

Believing Brown and his wife had a lot of money in a safe, Mendez, Kazmierski and another cohort drove from Indiana to Chicago on March 10 hoping to get their hands on the loot, authorities said.

But they ended up leaving without the cash, instead fleeing with the Browns’ other property, including a handgun and a knife, Assistant State’s Attorney Jamie Santini said.

Brown, who was shot once in the face at his home near East 115th Street and South Avenue G, died two weeks later.

The 38-year Chicago Police veteran’s wife had been lying face down on the ground when she heard a gunshot, Santini said.

When the 72-year-old woman looked up, she saw her husband lying in the hallway.

The assailant holding the weapon allegedly told Brown’s wife, “Keep your head down bitch or I’ll f–––- blow your head off too.”

Prosecutors said it was unclear who pulled the trigger because Mendez and Kazmierski, 18, made their way inside the residence with sweatshirts pulled tightly around their faces.

Jesse Kazmierski / Photo from Chicago Police

Jesse Kazmierski / Photo from Chicago Police

The couple was watching television when Mendez and Kazmierski rang the doorbell, Santini said.

“Help, we need help,” one of the two allegedly said.

Brown’s wife was opening the screen door when Kazmierski and Mendez pushed their way inside, knocking the elderly woman to the floor, Santini said.

They demanded to know where the safe was and Brown told them it was located upstairs, Santini said.

However, the suspect who ransacked the home ended up coming downstairs, telling the other, “I can’t get it, Let’s get out of here,” Santini said.

The trio fled back to Indiana after the crime, Santini said.

Once there Mendez, of Whiting, Ind., told someone what he had done, Santini said.

Mendez, like Kazmierski, is facing murder and home invasion charges. He has been as an adult.

Chicago Police officials said Wednesday they are waiting to extradite the third suspect from Indiana.

Brown’s wife, Mary Ann, told the Sun-Times in March that her spouse was “a wonderful father and husband.”

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