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O'Laughlin, a freshman at Lyons Township High School, was discovered by her mother at their Indian Head Park home on Oct. 27. She had been stabbed multiple times. John L. Wilson Jr., 38, a parolee with three prior convictions including one for armed robbery, was charged with first-degree murder and residential burglary in her death. Friday's bond hearing came as O'Laughlin was laid to rest, La Grange Patch reports. Wilson's DNA matched evidence found on a knit cap left behind in the O'Laughlin home, which was spattered with Kelli's blood.
The O'Laughlin family reportedly received text messages taunting them with details of the crime from Kelli's cell phone, which was one of many items missing from her home after the incident, NBC Chicago reports. Police have not confirmed that Wilson sent the messages, but have said they do not believe there are other suspects involved in the crime.
During a Friday press conference, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Illinois State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez shared more details about Kelli's violent death. La Grange Patch reports:
... Wilson broke into the rear of the home on the 6300 block of Keokuk Avenue by putting by putting a rock in a knit cap and hurling it through the dining room window.
After he was confronted by O’Laughlin, authorities say Wilson used a butcher knife from a cutlery block in the family’s kitchen to stab her repeatedly in the back, neck and chest. He then dragged her body from the family room into the kitchen.
“There are no words to describe how horrific it was,” said Alvarez. “All of us who have children—teenagers—are haunted by this crime.”
(Watch Friday morning's press conference about the charges and the murder of O'Laughlin above)
Residents have expressed concern that this action could indicate the crime was more than an accidental encounter.
"Now that the text messages to the family have come out into the public, we want to know--was this just a burglary?" Marie Raleigh, an Indian Head Park resident and substitute teacher at Lyons Township High School, told Patch. "This taunting...we don’t know, and we’re a little uneasy about this."
Early reports had said that Wilson, whose last known address was in the 7900 block of South Lafayette Avenue in Chicago, had an encounter with police on the night of the murder. The Chicago Tribune reports that a Willow Springs police officer responded to a disturbance near the girl's home, where Wilson told the officer his car had broken down and was helped to call a taxi. Sources confirmed that a taxi has been impounded in connection with the case.
The officer had several days off following his encounter with Wilson, and when he returned to work Wednesday recognized the man in the police sketch based on the observations of witnesses who saw a man leaving the O'Laughlin house, according to the Tribune.
John O'Laughlin issued a statement Thursday thanking the community for "their support and condolences in this difficult time. We also thank you for allowing us to mourn in private," he said. The family set up a scholarship fund in her name. Donations can be submitted at the Kelli Joy O'Laughlin Memorial Fund.