Machesney Park Man Convicted in Teen’s Murder


(8/30/18) – A Winnebago County jury found Mernack guilty on all counts for the murder of 16 year-old Rebecca Finkenhofer.

The trial of a man accused of killing a Machesney Park teen continued today.

Michael Mernack is accused of shooting and then stabbing 16-year-old Rebecca Finkenhofer in December of 2016. 

Mernack faces a long list of charges, including nearly a dozen counts of murder.

In the early morning of December 28th, 2016, police responded to a home on Minns Drive in Machesney Park where they found the young girl unresponsive, laying in a pool of her own blood in the doorway of her home.

Mernack is also accused of shooting Finkenhofer’s grandmother in the face. She survived. 

On Wednesday, the woman who last saw Mernack before he allegedly went on to commit the violent acts that night said she knew Mernack for a short amount of time and noted something was off about him.

“He seemed very, I don’t know the word – I would use ‘agitated’, maybe? He was saying a lot of strange things, in my opinion,” said Jennifer Vldman. “It kind of started to scare me, so I wanted the night to be over with.”

The woman went on to say that she dropped Mernack off down a side road along Hwy 251, believed to be near the Minns Drive home.

Mernack wil be in court tomorrow.

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