A former employee of a leading photo agency in Chicago has been charged with first-degree murder and other counts in the death of the woman who was killed in a photo shoot in which she was posing with the subject of a story.
Jessica Penney, 55, was found dead in her home on Friday afternoon, three days after the shooting, police said.
A criminal complaint alleges Penney had previously been charged in an unrelated case with violating a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend.
It was not immediately clear whether Penney has an attorney.
Penney’s ex-husband, Andrew Penney of Chicago, has not been charged.
Police said they believe the shooting happened sometime after 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
Penneys father, Brian, told the Chicago Tribune the couple were living together.
“She was just so excited to get out there,” he said.
“When she first got here she said she was going to get the picture, she wanted to do it.
But then she told me she had to go to the hospital, and she needed help.”
In a news conference, Cook County Judge John Nussbaum told reporters that he was satisfied with the evidence and he would make an order barring Penney from having access to the home.
“It appears she had an emotional problem, and it appeared she needed to go home,” Nussbaums told reporters.
Penneys home was searched but no weapons were found, and investigators were not able to obtain an arrest warrant for Penney.
A search of her vehicle did find a handgun, police told reporters at the scene, but that was the only weapon found in the house.
An autopsy will be conducted to determine Penneys cause of death.
Chicago police spokeswoman Michelle Brown said investigators had a warrant to search Penney s home for evidence, but they were not there when they were able to make the search.
“This is just unbelievable,” Penney told reporters outside the court.
“I just couldn’t believe it.
I couldn’t understand it, and I just had to find out what happened.”
Penney was a former photographer for Chicago-based Lianz Media, which worked on many Chicago-area projects.
She worked for the agency from 2011 to 2017.
A spokeswoman for the Chicago-Kentwood branch of Lianis declined to comment on Penney or any of the cases that have been investigated.
Police say Penney posed for a photo with a man in a car in Chicago on June 5, 2016, while he was driving her to the location of a planned story for her new book, which was scheduled to be published later that month.
The man who posed with Penney on the photo shoot was identified as John Penney Jr. by Chicago Police in a news release that said he was a father of two children, who were aged 2 and 2-year-old.
Pennington was also shot in the head during the shooting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.