Arrest, charges issued in relation to murder of Melissa Lamesch and unborn child

Matthew T. Plote accused of strangling Lamesch, setting fire to hide death

Ogle County State's Attorney Mike Rock announced first degree murder charges against Matthew T. Plote, 34, of Malta, for the November 2020 murder of Melissa Lamesch, 27, of Mt. Morris and her unborn child during a press conference on Wednesday. Lamesch was 9 months pregnant when she died Nov. 25, 2020 following a fire in their home in Mt. Morris. Her baby was due Nov. 28. Also pictured is Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle.

OREGON – A Malta man was arrested Wednesday for the 2020 murder of a Mount Morris woman and her unborn child.

Matthew T. Plote, 34, of Malta is facing multiple counts of first-degree murder and intentional homicide of Melissa Lamesch, 27, and her unborn child and one count each of residential arson, aggravated domestic battery and concealment of a homicidal death.

According to the arrest warrant, Plote strangled Lamesch then set fire to her house Nov. 25, 2020, in Mount Morris to conceal the death.

Ogle County State’s Attorney Mike Rock said Plote was issued a $10 million bond and would be required to post $1 million to be released. As of about 1 p.m. Wednesday, Plote had not posted bond, Rock said.

Watch for updates.

Matthew T. Plote, 34, of Malta, Illinois has been charged for the murder of Melissa Lamesch, 27, of Mt. Morris, Illinois and her unborn child in November 2020.
Melissa Lamesch and her unborn son died Nov. 25, 2020, at her home in Mt. Morris. Matthew Plote was convicted of their murders by an Ogle County jury on Friday, March 22, 2024.
Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner reports on Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties for Shaw Media out of the Dixon office. Previously, she worked for the Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Michigan, and the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.