Police seek couple after woman found killed in home

Updated 4/2/2010 7:26 AM
  • Police officials at  the scene of an apparent home invasion in the 1800 block of Olympic Drive in Vernon Hills.

    Police officials at the scene of an apparent home invasion in the 1800 block of Olympic Drive in Vernon Hills. Lee Filas

Police are still looking for the 20-year-old daughter of a woman who was found slain in her Vernon Hills bedroom early Thursday morning.

Vernon Hills Police Chief Bill Price said Kristina Aksman and her boyfriend Daniel Baker, 21, of Deerfield were not discovered overnight, but added there is no reason to believe the couple remains in the greater Lake County area.

Aksman and Baker are reportedly driving a 2009 silver Nissan Rogue with Illinois license plate 421 9607.

The two are wanted for questioning after 50-year-old Marina Aksman's body was discovered by police at about 5 a.m. in the first-floor bedroom of the Aksman's home at 1848 N. Olympic Drive in the posh Gregg's Landing subdivision, near Butterfield Road.

The murder investigation unfolded after police responded to a call from a passer-by about a car on the lawn of the home.

The silver four-door sedan had crashed into the front of the house, a collision hard enough for the air bags to deploy. The car is registered to Baker's parents in Deerfield, Zimmerman said. Someone who answered the telephone at the Deerfield residence would not comment.

While investigating the property, police walked to the rear of the home and saw a rear glass door had been smashed in. After entering the home and investigating further, police made the gruesome discovery, he said.

"This definitely is not a random act," Zimmerman said.

Officials would not comment on the murder weapon, or whether police found it at the scene.

Lake County Coroner Dr. Richard Keller said Marina Aksman died as a result of blunt trauma.

Vernon Hills police and members of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force are investigating the murder.

Neither Kristina nor Baker have prior police records. But court records show Marina Aksman was appointed the guardian for her daughter a little more than two weeks ago.

Documents include a May 2008 letter from Kristina's doctor that stated Kristina suffers from seizure disorders and developmental delay, and she was being treated with Depacote to control the seizures.

The doctor went on to say Kristina, who at the time was a special education student in the 11th grade, was "not fully capable of taking care of herself, being an independent adult or making her own decisions," documents stated.

In her application for the guardianship, Marina Aksman told the court her daughter suffered from "cognitive impairment disability" and Kristina's "capacity for judgment and reasoning is significantly diminished."

Deputy Lake County State's Attorney Jeffrey Pavletic would not comment when asked if he believed the guardianship had any bearing on the investigation.

The presence of police, emergency and news media crews came as an early-morning shock to residents in the quiet subdivision just east of Butterfield Road.

Neighbor Glenn Hartman said he was awake about 3:30 a.m. watching a taped Blackhawks game when he heard a thud outside. He lives about five doors away from the victim's home.

"It didn't sound like a crash or anything, so I didn't think much of it and went back to bed," he said. "Then my wife and I woke up this morning and saw all the police vehicles. The place was loaded with official vehicles, some from as far away as Antioch."

• Daily Herald staff writer Marni Pyke contributed to this report.