UPDATED: Police Suspect Slain Girl Walked In on Burglary; Seeking Man of Interest
Indian Head Park police have released a sketch of a "person of interest" in the killing of Lyons Township freshman Kelli O'Laughlin on Thursday.
Indian Head Park police said at a press conference on Friday afternoon that they believe 14-year-old Kelli O'Laughlin was attacked and killed between 4:45 and 5:15 p.m. on Thursday after returning home from school and interrupting a burglary at the 6300 block of Keokuk Road in Indian Head Park.
"It's a very fresh crime," said IHP chief of police Frank Alonzo. "It's still being investigated."
A Cook County Medical Examiner's Office spokesperson confirmed reports that O'Laughlin had been stabbed to death. An autopsy found the official cause of death to be "multiple stabs and incised [knife-like] wounds."
Indian Head Park police are investigating in conjunction with the South Suburban Major Crimes task force.
Police have released a sketch of a "person of interest" in the slaying: a black male of dark complexion, 30-35 years old, between 5'8" and 5'9" and of medium build. He was seen in the Indian Head Park area wearing a dark hoodie and carrying a patterned backpack.
“We certainly want to talk to this person," Alonzo said.
This summer saw a spate of home burglaries in Indian Head Park, about six or seven between March and August; three arrests were made at the end of the summer. Police have not ruled in, or out, any connection between the murder of the teenager, who was a freshman at Lyons Township High School, and the earlier burglaries.
Alonzo also would say whether police have made any arrests or have anyone in custody.
"I don’t think we’ve had a murder in Indian Head Park… ever,” he said.
Alonzo added, to residents of Indian Head Park, that "if you ever see anything out of the ordinary, call the police. Never hesitate.”
A second press conference is scheduled for later this afternoon.
Earlier Reports: Oct. 28, 11:40 pm.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's office confirmed on Friday morning that the body of LTHS student Kelli O'Laughlin, 14, was found in her home by her mother on the 6300 block of Keokuk Road, Indian Head Park. She was pronounced dead at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital at approximately 5:40 p.m.
Police have stated that they are treating the case as a homicide. An autopsy report is expected to be available shortly after noon.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that, while LTHS has a non-attendance day today, several students have quietly and somberly gathered at the school. Grief counseling is available at the school on Friday through 2:00 p.m.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.