Frantic 911 call details launch of Nellessen murder investigation

Sister-in-law pleads frantically for help

  • George Nellessen

    George Nellessen

  • Mathew Nellessen

    Mathew Nellessen

  • Marlon Green

    Marlon Green

  • Armon Braden

    Armon Braden

  • Azari Braden

    Azari Braden

Updated 4/29/2011 8:07 AM

Relaying details from the woman who discovered George Nellessen's body, his sister-in-law pleads frantically for an emergency dispatcher to send "someone" to Nellessen's Arlington Heights house in a hectic seven-minute 911 call released Thursday.

The call details the start of the investigation into Nellessen's April 12 murder, which authorities believe came at the hands of the 55-year-old widower's 19-year-old son, Mathew, and three accomplices.


The sister-in-law, who identifies herself and says she is calling from her home in Mount Prospect, tells the dispatcher that George Nellessen's girlfriend discovered his body, fled the house, called her and then saw Mathew Nellessen leave the property in his father's car.

"My brother-in-law's girlfriend just ran away from the house," the sister-in-law tells the dispatcher on the call that begins at 8:39 a.m. on April 14, two days after authorities believe Nellessen was killed. She then is heard speaking to the girlfriend on another line.

"Stay there! Don't go in the house. I have the cops on the line now, honey."

The sister-in-law tells the dispatcher that initially Mathew Nellessen wouldn't let the girlfriend into the house in the 1000 block of Wilshire Lane.

"He, he's, he's a drug person," the sister-in-law says of Mathew Nellessen, whose previous charges had included a 2009 arrest for marijuana possession.

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The call is complicated as the dispatcher tries to question the sister-in-law, who is listening to George Nellessen's girlfriend convey details from the crime scene on another line. "She's hysterical, ma'am," the sister-in-law tells the dispatcher.

At times the recording also picks up the girlfriend's voice as she relays information to the sister-in-law.

"I walked into the basement and he's tied to a chair," the girlfriend shouts via speakerphone.

The sister-in-law tells the dispatcher that the girlfriend went to the house after George Nellessen's boss called her to say he hadn't shown up at work.

The recording of the 911 call was released following an open-records request by the Daily Herald.

The sister-in-law could not be reached for comment Thursday.


About five minutes after the call began, the sister-in-law notifies the dispatcher that she was informed police officers had arrived at the scene.

Arlington Heights police Capt. Nicholas Pecora said officers initially entered the house with a paramedic who determined George Nellessen was dead. Officers spent another few minutes searching the house for other possible victims or suspects. Finding no one else inside, they left, cordoned off the house, and waited several hours for a search warrant before re-entering, Pecora said.

Police also initiated a manhunt for Mathew Nellessen, who was spotted driving near Harper College about an hour later by a Schaumburg police officer. Nellessen led police on a chase through several suburbs for about 30 minutes before being stopped in East Dundee.

Investigators eventually were led to three other suspects, one of whom Mathew Nellessen had met in jail, prosecutors say. Charged with murder and armed robbery along with Mathew Nellessen are Chicagoans Marlon L. Green, 20, of the 4000 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue.; Armon Braden, 20, of the 700 block of East 83rd Street; and his brother Azari M. Braden, 19, of the 2000 block of South Michigan Avenue.

The three Chicago men are currently being held at the Cook County jail in lieu of bonds in excess of $1 million, while Mathew was ordered held without bond.

Authorities said George Nellessen succumbed to multiple stab wounds to the neck. Prosecutors also said he had been severely beaten with a baseball bat.

A weapon wasn't found, authorities said. But prosecutors told a judge during the accused men's bond hearings that Nellessen told Green he was going to burn items taken from the house and was recorded on a convenience store camera buying lighter fluid.

• Daily Herald staff writer Madhu Krishnamurthy contributed to this report.