Reporting Bob Roberts
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CHICAGO (WBBM) – A man being held by Indian Head Park police in connection with a burglary is not considered a suspect in the murder Thursday of Lyons Township High School freshman Kelli O’Laughlin.
“Everybody’s asking about us having someone in custody for this as a person of interest,” said Police Chief Frank Alonzo.
“The person who’s in custody is in custody for a different crime, on a warrant, and not for this one. So there is no one being questioned at this time.”
Alonzo said a steady stream of calls continues to come in, and said each is being checked by the 40 South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force detectives who are assisting Indian Head Park police on the case.
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He said they are working hard and are putting in long hours on the case.
Alonzo is hoping that rewards being offered in the case will provide the information needed for an arrest and conviction.
The reward grew to $20,000 Saturday with a second anonymous $10,000 contribution.
Police are hopeful that a coin stolen from the O’Laughlin home will provide the break they need. The unusual coin is a limited-edition silver $10 gaming chip from the Flamingo Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., issued to mark its 50th anniversary. Police are providing photos of a similar chip to area coin dealers and pawn shops.
The burglar also took some $1 Sacajawea coins, which are not collectibles.
Kelli’s mother found her daughter fatally stabbed when returning from work Thursday. Police believe Kelli interrupted a burglary in progress when arriving home from school. Lyons Township High School officials continue to make counselors available to students and staff who desire them.
Saturday, Indian Head Park’s board of trustees released a two-paragraph statement expressing condolences.
“Words cannot begin to convey our sorrow,” said trustee Brian Bailey.
“Kelli’s murder has shaken our community, our families and our hearts to their core.”
In the statement, the trustees thanked the other suburbs that have contributed detectives to the task force and said, ”We will not rest until those responsible for Kelli’s murder are caught and prosecuted.”