Teen Girl Stabbed To Death By Burglar In Indian Head Park

UPDATED 10/28/11 4:45 p.m.

INDIAN HEAD PARK, Ill. (CBS) -– A 14-year-old girl was stabbed to death after apparently walking in on a burglar inside her family’s home, police said Friday.

Indian Head Park Police Chief Frank Alonzo said Kelli O’Laughlin arrived home sometime between 4:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, and police believe she was confronted by a burglar.

“As she went into her home, we believe she confronted a burglary going on in her house,” Alonzo told reporters. “The offender – offenders, at this time we don’t know – had killed her.”

Alonzo would not confirm a report in the Chicago Tribune that investigators were questioning a man who was picked up in Chicago.

kelliolaughlin Teen Girl Stabbed To Death By Burglar In Indian Head Park

Kelli O'Laughlin (Source: Facebook)

He only would say that their homicide investigation continues and released a sketch of the suspect. Police also said limited-edition gold coins may have been taken from the teen’s home.

Neighbors told police they saw somebody suspicious in the area, which has had six or seven homes burglarized recently.

Neighbors in the southwest suburb remained in shock Friday after learning O’Laughlin, a Lyons Township High School freshman, was killed in the home in a heavily wooded subdivision just east of the Tri-State Tollway.

Kelli’s mother found her body after the brutal stabbing. Kelli was pronounced dead at 5:39 p.m. Thursday at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital in La Grange, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

The community was hit by a rash of burglaries just a couple of months ago, but police say they arrested three people in those crimes. They won’t say if they believe they’re a connection between the former cases and Thursday’s crime.

The tragedy has left both parents and students afraid.

“I feel terrible for the parents. This is awful. Ugh, it just makes me sick,” neighbor Debbie Campbell said. “I never felt threatened in this area, never.”

But does she feel threatened now?

“Oh my God, yes,” Campbell told CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman. “Thank God we’ve got a big dog.”

Campbell said when her now-grown sons were boys, their babysitter lived in the house where Kelli’s family now lives.

Neighbors were concerned for the distraught parents Friday morning.

“I was running with a neighbor and we just met a lovely young girl who was one of Kelli’s close friends, and they’re out of school today at (Lyons Township), so her mother brought her out to keep her busy, and asked if we could all tie white garbage bags around the trees of the whole area to give some attention to Kelli and let the family know how much we’re supporting them and thinking of them right now,” said neighbor Kate Brodlow.

Meanwhile, postings from friends of Kelli on several Facebook memorials describe her as an active young girl full of life.

Hundreds of people have posted messages. One says: “There are no words of comfort today, just a deep well of sadness within the community for the O’Laughlin family.”

Lyons Township High School has posted information on its Web site about how to help a grieving teen, and how to talk to children about violence.

School Supt. Timothy Kilrea sent an e-mail to parents Thursday evening:

“Due to a previously scheduled non-attendance day, school will not be in session tomorrow — Friday,” he wrote. “However, LTHS will have social workers on hand at South Campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide support to students and faculty. Support will also be available throughout the coming weeks for students in need of grief counseling.”

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

  • Juan

    when there’s no pictures of people or faces to be identified with horrific acts, we can be assured that its not ethnic, black or other. In that case the police would secure a picture of a suspect 35 years of age showing a third grade picture and they would air that ALLEGED CRIME FOR 3 TO 5 DAYS SEVERAL TIMES A DAY
    A) who owns the media
    B) why is it imperative to keep a certain people tarnish
    C) who profits from this back water gibberish
    D) what man,woman,child, people,race that’s hated more than any other specimen on the tip top face of Gods green earth and why ?
    E) what is in you, that causes the balance of humanity to feel comfortable exploiting you, fearing you
    The answers are in us

    • Drunk at 2:03 am

      @Juan, I have read your insightful comment several times now and I still have absolutely no idea what the hell you are talking about. Nothing in your comment makes any sense whatsoever. I would suggest cutting down on the alcohol or drug usage and you may be able to retain some clarity in your thinking!

  • sober at 8:50 am

    @Drunk at 2:03 am – i have read YOUR very insightful comment just once and i understand exactly what you’re talking about. you are so right. thank you.

  • Suspect

    @Juan where were you on that night ? you sound like the usual suspect

  • Chivi

    My condolences to the family. I hope I never find out what that feels like.

  • Bless this family

    This is a horrible tragedy. Let’s pray for the family, Dear God, Please guide the family and friends and give the strength to go on. This is a very sad. God bless the family and friends and hopeful they will get justice. Hopefully the neighborhood has a watch, this person is still out there. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends. God Bless you all.

  • Erin Jones

    There is a candlelight vigil, organized by students and friends, is set for 7 p.m. tonight at LT’s South Campus.

  • Joe

    My heart goes out to family, friends and community affected by this tragedy. My heart also goes out to those who may allow themselves to become further conditioned by a headline containing some conjecture as well as a police drawing, the genesis of which which we truly know not – all of which have the capacity to foster more tragedy.

  • bawk bawk

    It amazes me that WBBM refuses to live up to its convictions of reporting the news no matter what the facts are. I’ve been listening to WBBM all day and all night describing the suspect and deliberately leaving out the fact that he is black. That right there is chickensh!t journalism.

    The Tribune reported:

    “…officers have been able to draw up a sketch of a person of interest based on a description from a witness. It depicts a black male, 25 to 35 years old, medium build, wearing a hoodie and a dark sweatshirt.”


    Sun-Times reported:

    “…police released a sketch of a dark-complexioned black man, 25 to 35 years old, about 5-feet-8 or 5-feet-9 inches tall, with a medium build who was wearing a dark, hooded sweatshirt and had a patterned backpack or strap bag.”

    So? What’s wrong with that? Is WBBM afraid of black men??

  • Veronicpap

    Behind any human being is a mystery: What happened to make him … him? When considering extraordinary people, the question becomes an obsession. What produces the sort of people who create world-changing products, inspire by example and shock by justified audacity, and tag billions of minds with memetic graffiti? What led to his dead-on product sense, his haughty confidence, his ability to simultaneously hector and inspire people to do their best work?
    Jobs usually had little interest in public self-analysis, but every so often he’d drop a clue to what made him tick. Once he recalled for me some of the long summers of his youth. I’m a big believer in boredom,” he told me. Boredom allows one to indulge in curiosity, he explained, and “out of curiosity comes everything.” The man who popularized personal computers and smartphones — machines that would draw our attention like a flame attracts gnats — worried about the future of boredom. “All the stuff is wonderful, but having nothing to do can be wonderful, too.”

  • Nick Chicago

    CBS will never say the perp`s race in case like this,NBC and ABC do the same thing what happened to truth and good journalism.But you can bet all three station`s will get awards in that catagory in the spring,watch and see
    news media in this city have NO idea what GOOD reporting is.Hippocrites!!!!!!!!

  • Tayontay

    The only relevant fact in this case is the fact that a vicious black African negro is on the loose and will kill again.

  • Joe


    While we need to support responsible and rational inquiry into this tragedy, we also need to remain free and non-attached of fears and judgments that also interfere with quality of life for both an individual and society.

    Only two-thirds of this headline is apparently true thus far, whereas “death by burglar” remains conjecture at this point. Take reasonable precautions, but don’t let fear creep into your existence.

    Please remember that there is a world of difference between “person of interest,” “suspect,” and “perpetrator,” and that the genesis of some are infinite. Real killers have thrown investigations with false leads and “evidence”… Fearful people can find “threat” in a person “not like them” delivering flyers to doorways blocks away and report them… Someone’s limited view, compromised by a limited memory, further compromised by limited descriptive words, and even further limited by an artist’s interpretation thereof… European Romani? Mulatto?Sinhalese? Aboriginal? Native? None of the above?

    At this point, all we know is that we do not know. Instead of blind conjecture from which absolutely no good can come, LET US BEST HONOR THIS BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMAN BY LOVNG THOSE AROUND US RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW FROM WHICH ALL GOOD CAN COME.

  • neal mazz

    The wrong person is being charged with this horrific murder. We should be arresting and charging all of the people on the parole board that set this animal free. Once we do this several times we will no longer hear about gruesome crimes commited by ex convicts with multipkle convictions out free on parole. Why is there absolutly no consequense for deciding that a hardened criminal is safe to release into society, then being wrong. IT’S GOT TO STOP!

  • Jim Hamilton

    Chicago is turning into one huge cesspool of criminals put a fence around it and take away their right to vote.
    By the way.
    Hi there Chicago it’s me from down state illinois. Hows the anti gun laws working out for ya. When will you idiots up there wake up and see your anti carry laws only dis arm the law abiding guys and keep the bad guys with their guns safer?



    Like hell take my family to Chicago for family fun. Getting them all killed in a drive up like so many others I read about doesn’t sound like fun to me oh yeah and in Chicago the criminals carry guns but I can’t hahaha NO THANK YOU CHICAGO!

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