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No one in custody in fatal teen stabbing

Saturday, October 29, 2011
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A small southwestern suburb is on edge as its residents mourn a 14-year-old girl who was stabbed to death.

Investigators say it appears Kelli O'Laughlin died when she interrupted a burglary when she got home from school Thursday afternoon. Her mother Brenda found her stabbed to death in the family room of their home in the 6300-block of Keokuk Road in Indian Head Park.

Despite some reports, police say there is no one in custody.

Police have set up a tip line -- the number is 708-246-4534. Officials also say two anonymous donors have given roughly $20,000 in reward money in hopes of getting tips and information that will lead to an arrest.

Without a suspect behind bars, however, residents of Indian Head Park, which is near Burr Ridge, say they are concerned for their safety. It may be the first murder in the suburb in nearly 25 years.

"We're scared. Not that we're going to live in fear that way, but we want to go what's going on and if we have to take certain precautionary measures, we'll take them," said a neighbor, Peter Vujicic.

On Saturday afternoon, authorities confirm that a man questioned following the slaying of the 14-year-old is being held on a warrant in connection with a separate burglary spree that happened over the summer in the southwestern suburb. While some reports claim the suspect is under investigation in connection with the teen's slaying, Indian Head Police Chief Frank Alonzo tells ABC7 they're unrelated.

"There is somebody in custody but it's for a different incident," Alonzo said.

Detectives from the south suburban Major Crimes Task Force joined the investigation as police released a sketch of a man seen walking near the area after the murder. They want to question him. Investigators were circulating copies of the sketch Friday night to drivers in the area. They also released pictures of gold coins that the killer stole from the house.

"Maybe somebody tried to pawn these at a pawn shop or tried to turn them in for cash. That's the only new lead at this point," said Indian Head Park Police Chief Frank Alonzo.

Pain and grief were palpable at the candlelight vigil Friday night. Classmates, friends and community members crowded the space in front of the freshman-sophomore campus at Lyons Township High School to remember O'Laughlin, who had been a freshman there. On Saturday, community members and the victim's friends remain stunned.

"You find yourself checking your locks, looking around when you walk the dog -- it's things in this community that you would never expect," said Village Clerk Jerry Consolo.

While the victim's family is said to be in seclusion, some area residents spent the day remembering the talented tennis player by placing white ribbons throughout the neighborhood.

"My heart goes out to the family. I hope they're holding up. I wish I could put my arms around them," said area resident Kim Morrison.

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