New Activity In Probe Of Suburban Girl’s Murder
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Updated 11/2/11 – 9:39 p.m.
INDIAN HEAD PARK, Ill. (CBS) – Police investigating the murder of a 14-year-old Indian Head Park girl said they still don’t have a suspect in the case, but there was a big spike in police activity on Wednesday.
Kelli O’Laughlin was stabbed to death in her family’s Indian Head Park home last Thursday and police believe she walked in on a burglar. They’ve been investigating hundreds of tips in the case, but so far they appear to be dead ends.
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports that the Indian Head Park police station’s parking lot was full of cars from several police departments Wednesday afternoon. And sources said that police acted on something in the case Wednesday morning, but police wouldn’t say what that was.
Several police officers returned to the Indian Head Park police station Wednesday afternoon, several of them wearing bulletproof vests. There were also two Cook County Sheriff’s Police K-9 units pulling into the station.
Police have released a sketch of a possible suspect, but at last check Wednesday night, police said no one was in custody.
Despite all of Wednesday’s activity, police were not releasing any new information on the case.
The only communication police had with reporters in the case on Wednesday was a sign on the police station door stating, “There is no further information to report. The media will be notified when the chief has a statement.”
So a community was left waiting and wondering what could have been, had violence not taken Kelli from them.
In another new development, access to the building was cut off to reporters, apparently due to a conference of some type.
Approximately 40 officers from various departments are working on the case.
LaGrange Police Chief Michael Holub told CBS 2 that police have been monitoring Kelli’s Facebook page, because of activity that occurred on her page after her death.
Police issued a new call for help in finding Kelli’s killer on Tuesday, while also announcing the reward has increased to $60,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed her.
Meantime, visitation was held for Kelli at Hallowell & James Funeral Home in Countryside.
“When we first heard the news our family was devastated,” family friend Richard Roderick said at the visitation.
“It was just sad to see someone so young pass away,” family friend Kristina Doria said. “I don’t understand why it happened.”
As CBS 2′s Kristyn Hartman reports, there were pictures and purple ribbons – Kelli’s favorite color – on display at the visitation.
“Kelli was smart, happy, full of promise,” Roderick said. “It was always just fun hanging around with Kelli and her family.”
There will be another visitation on Thursday. Kelli’s funeral will be on Friday at John of the Cross Church in Western Springs, followed by a private burial.
In a prepared statement on Wednesday, Kelli’s father, John O’Laughlin, said, “On behalf of our family – including my wife Brenda and our sons Ryan and Daniel and daughter Bridgette – we are truly overwhelmed and touched by the outpouring of support we have received from the community and all those who knew and loved Kelli. We are so grateful to everyone who has offered their support and condolences in this difficult time. We also thank you for allowing us to mourn in private.”
“People continue to ask us what they can do to help. We ask that you please keep Kelli and our family in your prayers,” he added.
The family also has established a scholarship fund in Kelli’s memory. Information and can be found and online donations made at www.kellijoyolaughlinmemorialfund.com. Checks payable to “The Chicago Community Trust,” noting “The Kelli Joy O’Laughlin Memorial Fund” in the memo line, can be sent to:
The Chicago Community Trust
attn: Nicole Mitchell
111 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601