Second World War hero, 88, who received Purple Heart is strangled to death 'by neighbor in robbery’

An 88-year-old World War II veteran who received a Purple Heart has been murdered and robbed by his next door neighbor.

During the war, John Poyer almost lost his legs serving in Germany and was allegedly strangled to death by Matthew L. Stoecklein, 55, who lived in the same two-story apartment block as the veteran.

Police in Elgin, Chicago, would not say when the murder took place, but they entered his apartment and found him dead on November 22 after relatives phoned after he had failed to contact them.

At a press conference in Elgin today, his family described Poyer as a 'great family man' who exercised every day at 5 am and watched videos of his family every morning.

Charged: Matthew L. Stoecklein, 55, (left) is charged with killing 88-year-old neighbor and World War II veteran John Poyer (right) inside his home

Alexis Zwerenz, Poyer's great granddaughter, said the two were best friends and was always taking pictures of her on his camera.

'He has been my everything since the day I was born,' said Alexis Zwerenz, 16, to the Chicago Tribune. 'The person that did this shattered my entire world.'

Stoecklein appeared in court today and was ordered held without bail. He is also charged with home invasion, robbery, and felony murder.

An autopsy revealed that Poyer died of strangulation and his death was ruled a homicide.

Officials believe that Stoecklein got into Poyer’s home, strangled him, and committed a theft.

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now