JOLIET – A TV episode about the tragic murder of a Romeoville teenager at the hands of an obsessive stalker she met online will premiere next week.
The murder of Briana Valle will be the latest episode in a series called “Forbidden: Dying For Love.” The episode will air at 9 p.m. on Tuesday on Investigation Discovery.
In 2014, Valle was gunned down by Erick Maya, 28, in the driveway of her Romeoville home. Maya later was arrested and convicted of murdering her and attempting to murder her mother, Alicia Guerrero, who was shot and survived.
Maya was sentenced to 122 years in prison.
Valle first met Maya through Facebook in 2012, and they began a relationship that soured after he threatened to harm her and her family, prosecutors have said.
Series producer Ellen Arnold said she knew Guerrero was keen on telling her daughter’s story because she wanted her to be remembered as a smart, funny and kind teenager. Guerrero also wanted her daughter’s story to serve as a warning about the dangers of online relationships.
In 2013, Valle’s parents moved to Romeoville to break off her relationship with Maya, who was eight years older. The two continued to exchange text messages. When Valle ended the relationship and told Maya she was seeing another boy, he sent text messages threatening to rape her and kill her whole family.
On Feb. 11, 2014, Maya took a taxi to the family’s home in Romeoville and left. Two days later, he called the same taxi for another ride to the same block and arrived about 15 minutes before the shooting.
Maya later was found hiding under a porch two blocks away.
Maya was found guilty of murder, attempted murder and unlawful use of a weapon. At his sentencing hearing, former Will County Judge Robert Livas called Maya “cretinous.”
Maya claimed he was a “wrongfully convicted man who … will spend the rest of my life in a cage for something I didn’t do.”
In 2015, Judge Dan Rozak upheld the Maya’s sentence. Rozak said for him, it wasn’t a murder, “It was more of an assassination and a cowardly one at that.”
Arnold said Valle’s story struck a chord, as it happened to her at such a young age, and the episode was a couple years in the making, with months of research and interviews with police.