Molly Arliksas and her son Ryan enjoy a moment together in a recent photo.

Family, Police Appeal for Information in Slaying of McKinley Park Man

Published April 18, 2022

The family of Ryan Arliskas, a McKinley Park neighborhood resident fatally shot the evening of Friday, April 8, 2022, has asked the community for information tied to his slaying alongside new details released from the family and the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) meeting for Beat 912 on Wednesday, April 13.

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"Please bring awareness to my cousin's case," family member Caitlin Leibforth said in an email to the McKinley Park News. She asked residents and businesses in the area of Arliskas' route home to review available surveillance footage between 9:55 p.m. and 11 p.m. that night.

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Leibforth said Arliskas left a friend's house through the back alley between the 2300 block of West 35th Street and West 35th Place, proceeded north to 35th Street on South Oakley Avenue, then headed straight east down 35th toward his apartment.

"His body was found just shy of his apartment door" on the north side of the 2000 block of West 35th Street, Leibforth said.

Ryan Arliskas route before slaying map 20220408
A map displays the route Ryan Arliskas followed on his way home the night he was slain.

Police and media reports indicate that Arliskas was fatally shot twice through the neck, and that the 27-year-old was not robbed. They state that available surveillance footage shows three suspects fleeing through the alley on the north side of West 35th Street, where South Seeley Avenue meets 35th, which lies behind active commercial businesses that line 35th Street and South Archer Avenue.

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"I am praying some of these businesses have footage of the shooters," Leibforth said. Anyone with information or surveillance video should contact Chicago Police Department Area 1 Detective Sweiss by calling (773) 383-1001.

"We ask the community to remember Ryan as someone who made everyone feel safe and welcomed without judgment," Leibforth said. "He was the most kind person to everybody who crossed his path. He will be deeply missed."

Chicago Police Department Officer Jason Sollis shares crime details at the CAPS Beat 912 meeting on April 13, 2022, in the McKinley Park field house.Chicago Police Department Officer Jason Sollis shares crime details at the CAPS Beat 912 meeting on April 13, 2022, in the McKinley Park field house.Arliksas had lived in McKinley Park for about six years, she said.

CAPS Updates

At the April 13 CAPS meeting, 9th District community policing Officer Jason Sollis shared available details about the homicide, although police were limited in what they could share during an active investigation, he said.

Sollis was not able to say whether or not the Chicago Police Department had any blanket cellular phone surveillance active in the area, such as geofencing or IMSI-catching (aka "Stingray") devices, which might help identify suspects. He said anyone with any information should contact police.

At the meeting, Sollis also detailed crime reports for the past month, from March 9 to April 12, 2022, for Beat 912, which covers most of the McKinley Park neighborhood. During this time, police recorded 1,090 calls for police service, 20 reports of shots fired and nine arrests, Sollis said.

Business Grows Here - Space - Resources - Community

Business Grows Here - Space - Resources - Community

Crime Statistics

In addition to the Arliksas homicide, major crimes during this period included one aggravated battery, three burglaries and two motor vehicle thefts, Sollis said.

In two of the nine arrests, handguns were recovered and taken off the streets, he said. Both arrests occurred after drivers were stopped for minor traffic violations. One occurred in the 1400 block of West 35th Street; the other was in the 1300 block of West Pershing Road. Illegal drugs were also seized during the arrest on Pershing Road, Sollis said.

A motorist getting in his car with his family was shot with a taser gun during an aggravated battery incident in the 2200 block of West 35th Street, Sollis said. The driver was putting his child in a safety seat when two offenders approached and began kicking and punching him. Then they tazed him and escaped, Sollis said.

Beat Facilitator Wanted

Officer Sollis noted a coming city program to buy cameras for homeowners to install: the Home and Business Protection Rebate Program. The city would provide up to $400 per household, and up to $250 per camera, which would be connected to the city’s network of surveillance cameras. Police could request camera footage, but the homeowner would have to give permission.

The city is still looking for a partner to provide the hardware, Sollis said.

Officer Sollis also reminded meeting attendees that the 9th District is looking for a volunteer to serve as a facilitator for Beat 912. He said the Chicago Police Department typically looks for a person who can help plan, organize and run a public meeting; has basic computer and smartphone skills; and can attend most monthly District Advisory Council meetings.

Coming Up at McKinley Park

The facilitator should be a team player who works well with police and a wide range of community residents; is kind, compassionate, fair and honest; and can help motivate others, Sollis said.

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Prior to the CAPS meeting, McKinley Park Supervisor Briana Soria mentioned a number of park programs for the spring and summer, all of which are listed on the McKinley Park page of the Chicago Park District website. Soria made special mention of the Earth Day Market event scheduled for 10 a.m until 2 p.m on Saturday, April 23, 2022.

The next CAPS Meeting for Beat 912 is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at the McKinley Park field house, 2210 W. Pershing Road, Chicago.

McKinley Park News Publisher Justin Kerr contributed to reporting for this story.

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