Hinsdale woman murdered in robbery; homeless man charged

A homeless man, Dominic Sanders, 30, was denied bail Saturday morning on a charge of first degree murder in the stabbing death of a Hinsdale woman during a robbery in her home.

DuPage County Assistant States Attorney Cathy DeLaMar described a gruesome and bloody scene where Andrea Urban, 51, was knifed to death and her family heirloom rings were stolen on May 4.

Sanders, who relatives said lived out of his car, also was charged with home invasion and armed robbery. He faces 20 years to life in prison if found guilty, said DeLaMar.

"The sheer brutality of this case is alarming and will be met with the full force of the law," DuPage County State's Atty. Robert Berlin said in a news conference after the bond hearing.

"My sincerest condolences go out to Andrea's family and friends, particularly her children, as they attempt to come to terms with this senseless crime. This case is a textbook example of law enforcement agencies working together. Good old-fashioned police work coupled with technology and a commitment to justice allowed us to bring these charges today."

Sanders was arrested Thursday on an unrelated Will County traffic violation. He is scheduled for arraignment on June 19 before Judge Daniel Guerin.

In court Saturday, Sanders wore an orange jump suit and his hands and feet were shackled while standing before Judge Michael Reidy.

DeLaMar described the course of May 4 that included surveillance cameras in Hinsdale that tracked how Sanders parked his car, put on a reflective vest and walked toward the victim's home.

After a period of unrecorded time, Sanders again appeared on a surveillance video going to a Melrose Park pawnshop. He signed paperwork to sell two rings from Urban's home. Relatives later identified the two rings as Urban's, said DeLaMar.

During that unrecorded time, prosecutors described the scene at Urban's house as "horrific" and "brutal."

Police arrived at Urban's home about 3:30 p.m. in response to a 911 call. They found her on the kitchen floor with multiple knife injuries to her head and neck. She was killed about 10 a.m. A knife from Urban's kitchen was later found in the home broken in two pieces.

Due to the ongoing investigation, Berlin declined to comment further on details of the attack or whether Urban had any prior contact with Sanders.

Sanders revealed in a police statement that he wanted to go to that Hinsdale neighborhood because he used to sell candy there as a child and wanted to walk that route again, prosecutors said.

Sanders has a lengthy criminal record for forgery and other crimes and a history of not showing up for court dates. So Judge Michael Reidy ordered Sanders be held without bail and assigned a public defender.

Police have said that Urban had two children, both minors who lived with her and are now in the care of relatives.

Urban grew up in Hinsdale, graduated from Hinsdale Central High School in 1984 and returned to her hometown in 2008 after spending time as an actor in New York City, according to a profile of her that appeared last year in the weekly newspaper, The Hinsdalean.

She worked with BNB-Chicago Model and Talent Agency in Hinsdale, landing small roles in TV shows such as "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Fire" and performing in television commercials.

ABC 7 has reported that Urban had a form of leukemia and was a strong proponent of medical marijuana, often speaking out publicly and crediting it with improving her quality of life.

• Daily Herald staff writer Justin Kmitch contributed to this report.

Hinsdale woman died from blunt force trauma

Andrea Urban in a publicity portrait that she had supplied to the BNB-Chicago Model and Talent Agency in Hinsdale.
  Hinsdale police investigate the homicide on Quincy Street Friday. Bev Horne/
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