Cop cleared, search resumes for 'honeybee' killer
October 13, 2010 (JOLIET, Ill.) (WLS) -- Will County prosecutors dropped charges against a Lynwood police officer who had been accused in a deadly two-state shooting spree.
Officer Brian Dorian was released from jail Tuesday night and was back in court Wednesday where the charges were formally dropped.
Dorian entered court at approximately 9 a.m. Wednesday, and the following proceedings were fast and simple. The murder charge was dropped, and Dorian became a free man officially.
The Lynwood officer was arrested last week for first-degree murder, accused of being the so-called 'Honeybee Gunman,' who was randomly shooting people in two states last week and talking about bees.
The real gunman killed one person and injured two people and is still on the run.
Dorian was released from jail Tuesday after having been locked up for four days. His family and friends and fellow officers say they believed he was innocent all along.
Prosecutors say he was exonerated with an alibi, cell phone records, and use of his computer at his home in Crete.
"Thank God he's free," mother Diane Dorian said.
"There are other issues than a computer that exonerated Brian Dorian. There were numerous issues that were brought to their attention. I think the computer was the final straw, but I just want to clear up any misconceptions about that," said Attorney Bob O'Dekirk.
Dorian did not speak to reporters Wednesday, but his attorneys said he'd had little to eat and very little sleep and that he does plan on speaking to reporters eventually. Right now, they say, he wants to spend time with his family.
"He is a police officer, and what's was eating at him this entire time that he was locked up is that there is a guy out there who murdered the father of nine...and hurt two other people," said O'Dekirk.
While the state regrets the inconvenience of Dorian's arrest, it says releasing him quickly shows they were just following the evidentiary trail.
"We're focused on doing the right thing and that was dismissing these charges once evidence developed that showed that he was in his house at the time that the shootings occurred," said Charles Pelkie, spokesperson for Will County State's Attorney Jim Glasgow.
But the attorney who got Kevin Fox exonerated on charges he killed his daughter in 2005 says this may have been yet another case where investigators theorized about how a crime was committed, and then had tunnel vision about the facts.
"There is enormous pressure, I think, that the danger is that the police try to fit the evidence to the theory. They're not really doing an investigation and then coming up with the theory. And that's how people become the targets and really it ruins people's lives," said Kathleen Zellner, Fox attorney.
"The evidence led to the guy's arrest. The sheriff's department was the one that discovered the evidence to free him, so I think, you know, when you look in totality of the whole thing is that you have the system working," said Pat Barry, Will County sheriff's spokesperson.
A political opponent, however, is convinced Brian Dorian's struggle shows what's wrong with Will County justice.
"Putting some innocent guy in jail because you think he did something doesn't solve anything. You take your time, you do the right thing and you get the right guy," said Pete Piazza, candidate for Will County sheriff.
Dorian joined supporters Wednesday night to thank them for standing by him.
"He is one of the best people that i know. I stand behind him," said Lori Nidzielam, friend.
Search resumes for 'honey bee' killer
Meanwhile, the search for the gunman continues. In Lake County, Ind., the sheriff is warning residents to remain on alert.
Investigators in Lake and Will counties are working through hundreds of tips that have been phoned in. They encourage people to continue to call in information that can lead them closer to making an arrest.
"Our investigation never stopped," said Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez.
He says investigators kept looking for a suspect in the two-state shooting spree that left one dead and two injured even after Lynwood police officer Brian Dorian was arrested for the crime. Sheriff Dominguez addressed renewed fears that a killer is still on the loose.
"We encourage our citizens to continue their daily lives, to be on alert, to take any necessary safety precautions they believe are reasonable," said Dominguez.
The sheriff says the description of the suspect is similar to initial reports: a white male in his mid 30s, between 6' and 6' 2", about 220 pounds with a five o'clock shadow. These details came from Keith Dahl, the Lowell, Ind., man was shot as the suspect asked him about honey bees.
Dahl's brother says he's disappointed with how the investigation is going.
"There is disappointment that the Will County police arrested are this individual and kept him for three nights and then had an arraignment and charged him with murder, and then they released him," said Bob Dahl.
The shootings killed Rolando Alonzo and injured Joshua Garza, who were both working at a construction site in Beecher, Ill.
Garza's aunt says she wants proof that Dorian is not the suspect.
"I want to make sure that Joshua is given the same opportunity that the other victims were in this case, and I want him to have the opportunity to either positively identify Brian Dorian or exclude Brian Dorian," said Kristina Garza, aunt.
Garza says her nephew does have a bullet lodged in his brain but is doing better. He can communicate with hand gestures and notes.
High profiles cases in Will County
Authorities in Will County are working on a number of high profile criminal cases.
Tinley Park police are still searching for a suspect in the Lane Bryant murders. Five women were shot and killed in the store during a botched robbery attempt on February 2, 2008.
In 2004, Will County authorities charged Kevin Fox with the murder of his three-year-old daughter. After spending eight months in jail, Fox was cleared by DNA evidence and released. Last May, Scott Eby was charged with the murder of Riley Fox.
No charges have been filed in the disappearance of Lisa Stebic. The Plainfield resident was last seen on April 30, 2007. Her husband, Craig Stebic, has been named as a person of interest in the case by police. But he has not been charged.
And former Bolingbrook police officer Drew Peterson remains in jail. He's charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Peterson is also a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy.
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