As hundreds gathered to mourn the death of 14-year-old Kelli O’Laughlin, police in suburban Indian Head Park were questioning a man suspected in her murder.
O'Laughlin, a freshman at Lyons Township High School, was discovered with multiple stab wounds by her mother at their home in the 6300 block of Keokuk Road in the southwest suburb about 5:30 p.m. last Thursday. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly thereafter. Police believe she walked in on a burglary in progress.
Police have received more than 100 leads in the last week, and one of those leads panned out, ABC Chicago reports. On Wednesday, the first of two days of visitation for O'Laughlin, police were questioning a suspect. Police sources told ABC the person being questioned is a parolee and "Chicago gang-banger," but Indian Head Park Police have been quiet about the suspect.
According to NBC Chicago, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart surveyed the O’Laughlin backyard Wednesday, where police believe the killer entered the home. Dart himself has reportedly been "intimately involved" with the investigation.
Earlier in the year, Indian Head Park played host to a spate of burglaries where a man reportedly used Google Maps' "street view" to identify upscale suburban homes and survey their properties in order to plan his break-ins. Several rare coins were stolen from the O'Laughlin home by the person suspected of killing Kelli.
John O’Laughlin, Kelli's father, released a statement to the media Wednesday:
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.
Multiple donors have come forward in recent days, offering a reward of $60,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the slaying, Fox Chicago reports. Anyone with information should call (708) 246-4534.
Kelli's visitation will continue Thursday at Hallowell and James Funeral Home, 1025 West 55th St., in Countryside, from 4 to 9 p.m. The funeral will take place at St. John of the Cross Church, 5005 Wolf Road in Western Springs at 9:45 a.m. Friday, followed by burial at Fairmont Willow Hills Memorial Park in Willow Springs.
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