CHICAGO (jGLi) – Ten days after the fatal beating of a Filipino American nurse in Chicago’s southside, Chicago police are still groping for answers for what drove the attackers to kill Virginia Yee Perillo.
Mrs. Perillo, 73, a native of Cagayan de Oro City in the Philippines, was severely mauled by still unknown killer or killers after she alighted from her car she just parked in her garage on Saturday, (Oct. 22) at the 3300 block of South Parnell Avenue.
Her son, Michael Perillo, 32, the youngest of her three children, all boys, told this reporter in an interview that Chicago police are still pursuing few leads after his mom was found lying unconscious last Saturday between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. by a neighbor, who tried to close her garage after seeing it open.
It was at that point that the neighbor found Mrs. Perillo badly beaten with face lying down and alerted the police.
“My mom came from a store, earlier in the day and visited my Dad (Mauro) in the hospital and went to the church (St. Mary of Perpetual Help) and parked the car in her garage after driving it that day when she was found lying unconscious,” the grieving Michael recalled.
SUSTAINED SEVERE FACIAL INJURY
“She sustained facial injury, severely beaten and she has no known enemy. Maybe she was a victim of robbery attempt. Her attacker was not able to get in the house. But nobody heard any scream from my Mom; nobody saw anybody going away from her garage. She could be a victim of mistaken identity. But when she was found, she was still alive but the injury was too severe for her to recover as she was found unconscious before being taken to Stroger County Illinois Medical Center.”
Mrs. Perillo, an intensive critical care nurse at the Rush University Medical Center in the southside, was rushed to the county hospital Stroger Illinois Medical Center. When pressed why his Mom was not brought to Rush hospital where his Mom worked during the last 40 years, Michael said, “the responders did not know that she was working at Rush.”
At 73, Mrs. Perillo was supposed to be enjoying her retirement. But John Perillo, 36, the eldest of the three children of the Perillos, said his Mom just loved her job as a “full-time nurse, working the third shift. It was her passion.”
John said his Mom would babysit his first child, Matthew, 13 months old, who was also her first grandchild, three days a week so he and his wife, Celeste, could go to work and spend some time together.
Mrs. Perillo never returned to the Philippines since immigrating to Chicago in 1971.
“Perhaps, all she wanted was take care of the three of us,” John added.
“WISH I WERE THE ONE IN THE COFFIN”
Mrs. Perillo’s husband, Mauro, 75, a native of Polangui, Albay in the Philippines, told this reporter that he returned to the Philippines “at least three times. Magastos (it is expensive)” since marrying Virgie in 1973 after meeting her while working in a hospital where his aunt was being treated.
Hard of hearing and bound to a wheelchair and experiencing “rheumatism in my back and my binti (legs) and had undergone a recent open heart surgery,” Mauro, still seething in pain due to his health condition, sobbed, “I wish I am the one lying in the coffin, not her,” referring to his wife, who was very healthy and was not complaining of any ailment when she was attacked.
“The story of my wife is very short. She was attacked for still unknown reason and now she is dead.” Mauro, a retired auto parts supervisor, sighed. But he still could not understand why his wife did not let their children learn her Visayan language nor his Bikolano language when he tried to.
At the wake of Mrs. Perillo, the middle son, Mark, 35, assistant director of De Paul University, was not around. Michael said Mark brought someone, who collapsed, to the hospital.
Virginia, who celebrated her 73rd birthday last Oct. 10, was the daughter of Conrado and Celicidad Yee and sister to Eduardo, Corazon, Flora, and Nenita, of Cagayan de Oro City.
A stream of co-workers from Rush hospital attended the wake at the Michael Coletta and Sons Funeral Home at 544 West 31st St. at Chicago’s Bridgeport district Tuesday (Nov. 1) afternoon.
A requiem mass was slated on Wednesday (Nov. 2) at 9:30 a.m. at the St. Mary of Perpetual Help Church at 1039 W. 32nd St. in Chicago. The mass will precede her burial at Queen of Heaven Cemetery at 1400 South Wolf Rd. at Hillside, Illinois. (firstname.lastname@example.org)