Man Convicted of Murdering Pregnant Girlfriend, Setting Fire at her Home

A volunteer firefighter from Belvidere, Illinois, has been found guilty of the murder of his pregnant girlfriend and the subsequent arson of her home. Matthew Plote, 36, now faces charges of first-degree murder and concealing a homicidal death. The verdict was reached after jurors deliberated for only two hours.

The victim, Melissa Lamesch, was an EMT who had been on maternity leave, eagerly awaiting the arrival of her first child. Tragically, firefighters discovered her unconscious on the kitchen floor. Initially, authorities believed that she had succumbed to asphyxiation during the house fire. However, meticulous investigation over a span of 14 months ultimately revealed that Plote, a firefighter and EMT himself, was responsible for her death and the subsequent blaze.

Investigators uncovered evidence suggesting that Plote had strangled Lamesch. During the trial, Cassandra Baal, Melissa’s older sister, testified that she had spoken to the victim on the day of the incident. Lamesch had mentioned that a man named “Matt” had visited her and promised to call back. Tragically, she never did.

In an interview with authorities on August 28, 2021, Plote admitted that he never intended to harm Lamesch and expressed regret over the events of that fateful day. However, he did not confess to committing the murder. A pathologist also testified during the trial, indicating that there were no signs of smoke inhalation in the victim’s lungs or airways, further corroborating the theory that she had been strangled.

Additional information suggests that Plote was the father of Melissa Lamesch’s baby, as confirmed by her brother. The motive behind this heinous crime remains unclear.

Matthew Plote’s conviction for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend and the subsequent arson of her home has brought a tragic chapter to a close. The evidence presented during the trial, including the testimony of Lamesch’s sister and the pathologist’s findings, pointed towards Plote’s guilt. He now awaits sentencing for his heinous actions.