Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Arrest made in Rockford woman’s 2017 death

Prosecutors say the victim was tortured.

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD — A Durand man has been charged in the death of a woman whose decomposing remains were found in summer 2017, authorities announced Wednesday.

Carl N. Defay, 30, was recently indicted on 12 counts of first-degree murder, two counts of concealing a homicidal death, one count of concealing a death and one count of obstruction in the death of 38-year-old Samantha Swan.

Swan’s remains were found on Aug. 17, 2017, in Durand, on an old farm in the 1700 block of Wheeler Road. A forensic pathologist determined she had been strangled.

“We believe the incident occurred in Feb. 2017,” Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross said at a press conference Wednesday.

According to charging documents, Defay tortured Swan and after killing her, hid her body in at least two places before burning it in an attempt to destroy the remains.

First-degree murder is a Class M felony, punishable by a sentence of 20 to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by three years of parole. Concealment of a homicidal death is a Class 3 felony with a sentencing range of two to five years in prison and a year on parole.

Concealing a death and obstruction are both Class 4 felonies punishable by one to three years behind bars.

“We appreciate the combined efforts of the state’s attorney’s office anid my deputies in bringing this person to these charges,” Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana said.

Defay has been in prison since last August. He is serving six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for domestic battery. R.

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