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updated: 2/1/2013 4:24 PM

Lane Bryant investigation continues 5 years later

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  • Greg Zanis of Sugar Grove puts up five crosses and leaves flowers at the Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park on Feb. 3, 2008.

    Greg Zanis of Sugar Grove puts up five crosses and leaves flowers at the Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park on Feb. 3, 2008.
    Associated Press

Associated Press

Saturday marks the fifth anniversary of the shooting deaths of five women at a clothing store in Southwest suburban Tinley Park, and investigators are still looking for the killer.

Three Tinley Park police investigators have worked full time to find the gunman. They have received nearly 6,700 leads, although only 87 came in 2012. Mayor Ed Zabrocki said the village has spent $1.9 million on the case. They've even had NASA enhance video.

A botched robbery attempt turned deadly on Feb. 2, 2008, when a man disguised as a deliveryman entered a Lane Bryant store. He forced the women into a backroom, bound them with duct tape and shot them. A sixth woman was shot but survived.

The victims were Jennifer Bishop, 34, of South Bend, Ind.; Sarah Szafranski, 22, of Oak Forest; Connie Woolfolk, 37, of Flossmoor; Carrie Hudek Chiuso, 33, of Frankfort; and Rhoda McFarland, 42, of Joliet.

"When we catch this guy, it's going to open a lot of wounds," Tinley Park police Cmdr. Pat McCain told the SouthtownStar. "It's not `if.' It's `when,' at least in my book."

Family members of victims are remembering the women at the anniversary. McFarland's father, Hilton Hamilton, of Lockport, says he's still angry and hasn't found closure.

"It's an empty feeling, a very empty feeling," he told The Herald-News in Joliet. "I know nothing can bring her back, but someone needs to be brought to justice."

Chiuso's brother, Mark Hudek, said he wants accountability.

"I believe the police are doing what they can, but it frustrates me that somebody out there knows this guy. He's somebody's husband or brother or nephew," Hudek said.

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