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Man Sought in Indian American Lawyer’s Strangulation Death on US Marshals’ Most-wanted Fugitive List


John G. Panaligan. (U.S. Marshal Service photo)

NORTHBROOK, IL. – A man sought in connection with a suburban Chicago lawyer’s 2016 strangulation death has been named one of the U.S. Marshals’ most-wanted fugitives.

There’s a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of 54-year-old John G. Panaligan. Authorities allege he strangled Indian American real estate attorney Jigar Patel in his Northbrook office in 2016.

At the time, Patel, 36, had been representing plaintiffs suing Panaligan in civil court. Authorities allege Panaligan scheduled an appointment at the law office using an alias and allegedly wore a disguise.

Murder victim Jigar Patel (Northbrook Police photo)

The Marshals Service said Panaligan allegedly fled to Mexico before authorities could arrest him. In 2017, authorities believed he was in the Philippines, where he has family and owns property, but now “believe he could be anywhere.” Panaligan maintains dual citizenship in the U.S. and Philippines, according to authorities.

“This senseless crime took the life of a man who was a husband and a father to two small children,” U.S. Marshals service director Donald Washington said in the statement. “The U.S. Marshals and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners will use every available resource to bring John Panaligan to face justice for the heinous allegations involving the murder of Jigar Patel.”

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