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 at approximately 5:40 p.m.

Police have stated that they are . 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.

Pat Johnson October 28, 2011 at 05:40 PM
God Bless Kelli and her Mom and Dad, Brenda and John, as well as the Douglas children. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Pat Johnson and the McGunn children.
Susan Gibson October 28, 2011 at 07:49 PM
Please know that the nation is praying for Kelli and her family .... this is such tragedy ... may Kelli rest in peace. May her family find comfort in fond memories .... Susan Gibson, Columbus, OH
Erin Jones October 28, 2011 at 09:28 PM
There is a candlelight vigil, organized by students and friends, is set for 7 p.m. tonight at LT's South Campus.
Sue Hensley October 28, 2011 at 10:29 PM
Truly the nation does grieve...the senseless loss of a beautiful girl and a young life. My Granddaughter is a Freshman at LT...and a friend of Kelli's. Thoughts and prayers for her family. Sue Hensley, San Antonio, Texas
Joyce Petricig FIsher October 28, 2011 at 10:42 PM
This was such a terrible tragedy for this family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. Joyce Fisher, LaGrange
Mary Olson October 29, 2011 at 02:08 AM
My families thoughts and prayers are with this poor family as well. What a terrible senseless crime....there are not words to do it justice. Let's all collaborate and bring the murderer to light. Someone, somewhere, saw something! If you live in the neighborhood, and saw anything unusual that day, even as small as unknown vehicle, please contact the police.
Matthew Hendrickson (Editor) October 29, 2011 at 02:25 AM
Thanks for letting our readers know about this, Erin.
Kim Kundid October 29, 2011 at 03:05 AM
Our Thoughts and Prayers go out to Kelli's family. My son is a freshman at LTHS, and went to Highlands Middle School with Kelli. Our heart goes out to her family. Rest in Peace Beautiful Young Lady! The Kundid Family
Dr P Adams October 29, 2011 at 04:08 AM
This is a tragedy and my prayers go out to Kelli and her family. That she had so many friends speaks volumes of what a wonderful person she was, the kind of people we need in this world. It is unfortunate that it is against the law for underage women to protect themselves with mace or pepper spray or Kelli could have had a chance to thwart this horrible event.
Nora October 29, 2011 at 01:10 PM
Somebody must know something, speak up!!! Due to the nature of this horrible tragic crime the person that did this did not just walk away without a mark on him, speak up! God bless the grieving family and community.
bob October 29, 2011 at 04:15 PM
Police, Please check out Briar Place residents and their acquaintances.
Matthew Hendrickson (Editor) October 29, 2011 at 04:21 PM
Bob, thanks for your comment. But if you truly think that is information the police should know, I would suggest contacting them directly. Otherwise, we shouldn't be suggesting that residents in a certain area are somehow worth investigating just because they live there. My two cents.
bob October 29, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Thanks for the suggestion. Already called yesterday.
Paulette Delcourt October 30, 2011 at 02:26 AM
Has a memorial fund been set up yet?
Caroline & Ron Leban November 01, 2011 at 08:29 PM
Our prayers are with Kelli's family at this terrible time. We are away but will keep in touch with the Athletic Office for any updates. Please speak up if you have seen anyone fitting the description of the killer. God bless the family. Coach Leban and Caroline Leban


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