A domestic argument in Antioch left a woman dead and the father of her 19-year-old daughter charged with her murder.
Michael S. Axtell, 41, is being held in Lake County jail on $3 million bond on charges that he murdered Tammy L. Stone, 40, during an argument at their home in Antioch. While never married, the couple had been in a long-term relationship, said Lake County Sheriff Chief Deputy Wayne S. Hunter.
Stone phoned her daughter Thursday night to say that she was "in a physical altercation" with Axtell, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Department. The teen and two of her friends, one male and one female, arrived at the home on the 26000 block of West Bond Avenue and found Stone with a blackened left eye, Hunter said. After a scuffle between the daughter and her dad that caused no serious injuries, the teen retreated into the attached garage.
After hearing "a thud" coming from inside the residence, the daughter went back inside the home as her father was leaving and found her mother unresponsive in a bedroom, Hunter said.
Lake County Sheriff Deputy Chief George Manis said it remains unclear at this point what the loud "thud" was. "At the point, we are assuming that Axtell hit her again and she hit the floor," Manis said. "But, he hasn't confessed to anything at this point, so we aren't entirely sure. The investigation is still continuing."
Police were called at 10:16 p.m. Antioch fire paramedics transported Stone to the Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry where she later died of her injuries, police said.
McHenry County Coroner Paula Gallas said an autopsy was performed Friday. The cause of death was "blunt force trauma to the head," Hunter said, adding that police found no weapons at the scene.
Axtell left the residence on foot and fled into the woods before police arrived, Manis said. But Axtell was picked up about 90 minutes later by Lake County sheriff deputies as he was walking down Route 173 in Antioch Township, about three blocks from the home, Manis said.
Axtell was taken into custody without a struggle, Manis said.
Manis added Axtell and Stone had an on-again, off-again relationship for the past 22 years. He added Axtell was technically living in Round Lake with family members after he recently separated from Stone. However, Manis said 90 percent of Axtell's belongings were in the Antioch Township home.
Hunter said Axtell, who does not have a history of criminal activity, is charged with first-degree murder. His next court date is Oct. 25 in the Lake County courthouse in Waukegan.